Self-employment improves mental health: study

Published: October 1, 2018
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PHOTO: INFO TECHNOLOGY

PHOTO: INFO TECHNOLOGY

A new research has revealed that people who go from being unemployed to self-employed are in much better health than their counterparts. According to Forbes magazine, being your own boss is good for your health.

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‘Necessity’ entrepreneurs who establish their own businesses out of unemployment are at a much better mental state, however, their physical health often suffers. But ‘Opportunity’ entrepreneurs who shift from regular jobs to self-employment exhibit improvements in both, physical and mental health, said Milena Nikolova who is an economist at the University of Groningen in Netherlands.

PHOTO: JACARANDA FM

PHOTO: JACARANDA FM

In the Journal of Business Venturing, she wrote, “Importantly, the gains cannot be explained by changes in income or working conditions and are not driven by personality and risk preferences or the local unemployment conditions. As such, the findings highlight an additional non-monetary benefit of self-employment and have implications for entrepreneurship theory and practice.”

Nikolova who examines people’s well-being and its relation to employment, observed a set of German data from 2012 to 2014. Her paper is the first causal evidence that discusses the impact of self-employment on physical and mental health.

PHOTO: MANE ADDICTS

PHOTO: MANE ADDICTS

In her study, she observed that people who are self-employed – with or without additional employees – had more health benefits. Nikolova stated that such people enjoy enhanced job satisfaction and felt like they have more control over their work.

Nikolova added that there are quite a few studies that look into entrepreneurship and its effects on physical and mental health, but none of them explored its cause and effect.

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Results of her study explained that programmes that encourage entrepreneurship can cause better health outcomes both, physically and mentally.

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