There are many benefits to working for yourself, such as greater flexibility and independence that you might not get in a traditional job structure. Could self-employment boost your cardiovascular health?
Long-term research suggests that it may — at least among women. Self-employed women were less likely than women who earned wages or salaries to have high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. They also reported more physical activity than those who worked for a living.
“The study shows that women may be able to choose their work and take control of their own health,” Dr. Emily Lau, a Massachusetts General Hospital cardiologist specializing in women’s cardiovascular health, said. It’s timely because the pandemic presented us with questions about our work landscapes and whether traditional structures are the best.
It’s interesting, but it is not conclusive.
The new study was published in BMC Women’s Health. It used data from a large, ongoing long-term retirement and health study at the University of Michigan. While the findings may be intriguing, Dr. Lau points out that they are not conclusive. It is an observational, cross-sectional study that can’t prove self-employment leads to better health markers. This is because it lacks the scientific rigor and control of a controlled, randomized trial that directly compares effects among participants randomly assigned to the intervention.
She explains that “Self-employment can indicate a lot of things.” “Self-employed women are typically older, more educated, and more financially literate than those who work for themselves.” Each of these factors is associated with improved cardiovascular outcomes.
What was the study about cardiovascular health and work?
Heart attacks, strokes and other serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease can all be caused by this condition. Nearly half of all women in America are affected by it.
This study examined survey data from 4,624 women who were either salaried, self-employed or earning wages between 2016 and 2018. All participants were older than 50, and approximately 16% were self-employed. The rest worked for another employer.