The New Reality: Owning Business Isn't Stressful, and Showers Make You Sick

The funny business of health research.

A couple of studies out this week go against conventional wisdom. One says that people who work for themselves are actually healthier and happier than other workers, instead of being more stressed and worried. The other study suggests that taking a shower may be hazardous to your health.

Young businesswoman and family
Young businesswoman and family

First, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Indexhas released a report on how one's job impacts one's well-being.

"Despite the recession, it still pays to be your own boss," says the report, which is based on surveys of over 100,000 working adults. It may be one of the largest surveys of its kind. Business owners ranked first in overall well-being. The Wall Street Journal reports the findings "reflect the important of being free to choose the work you do and how you do it."

Coming in second are professionals (doctors, lawyers), followed by managers and executives.

Also ranking high, farmers and foresters!

This group scored first in emotional health, which the Journal described as "the amount of smiling, laughter, enjoyment and happiness," even as farmers were near the bottom in terms of access to basic necessities. It's further proof that working with the land is a good thing. Meantime, people with jobs in manufacturing and production had the lowest scores for overall well-being. No surprise in this economy.

Another study gets down and dirty about cleanliness - Taking a shower is bad for your health.

"While daily bathroom showers provide invigorating relief and a good cleansing for millions of Americans, they also can deliver a face full of potentially pathogenic bacteria, according to a surprising new University of Colorado at Boulder study," blares the uplifting news release which popped into my inbox.


Researchers studied showerheads in a several of cities and found high levels of pathogens in the "slime" inside.


I wonder who drew the short straw and had to do the swabbing?

"If you are getting a face full of water when you first turn your shower on, that means you are probably getting a particularly high load of Mycobacterium avium, which may not be too healthy," says CU's Norman Pace, who led the study.

"Water spurting from showerheads can distribute pathogen-filled droplets that suspend themselves in the air and can easily be inhaled into the deepest parts of the lungs."

Cleaning showerhead interiors with bleach only made the problem worse, causing "a three-fold increase in M. gordonae, indicating a general resistance of mycobacteria species to chlorine."

Yeah, and you'd also get a face full of bleach.

Prof. Pace suggests those who have compromised immune systems might want to opt for baths, and researchers say metal showerheads may be more resistant to slimy buildup than plastic ones.

All I know is that I'm not telling my son about this. It'll just give him more ammunition to go through life "as is".


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