Health experts stressed that these results do not mean that those who are self-employed will be healthier than full-time employees.
Instead, the results suggest that there may be aspects to the self-employment model — such as having the flexibility to add in time for exercise — that can be good for the heart.
Senior researcher Dr. Kimberly Narain told U.S. News & World Report that a key takeaway from the study was that bosses could implement aspects of the self-employed lifestyle in workplaces.
These include more flexible schedules to create a more positive environment that supports a healthier lifestyle.
How to be physically active if you work full-time
If you’re a woman who has chosen to be self-employed as a freelancer or entrepreneur for more flexibility and freedom, this lifestyle may also be supporting your heart health.
This is according to the results of a new study published in BMC Women’s Health. Researchers followed 4,624 working women in the U.S. and found that participants who were self-employed generally exercised more frequently.
As a result, they were at a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
This ultimately means the participants who were self-employed were at lower risk for heart disease, the most common killer of women, per U.S. News & World Report.
Even if you are a full-time employee working in a structured environment, there are steps you can take to implement physical activity into your workday to support your health.
One step you can take — literally — is taking the stairs at work, rather than the elevator.
You can also step away from your desk in 15-minute stints and run up and down a few flights to increase your heart rate, burn calories, and tone your lower body, per Azcentral.
Also, you should stand often. According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting for long periods can put you at risk for obesity and other health issues.
If you do not have a standing desk, stand up every 30 minutes, or walk and talk during meetings instead of sitting in the conference room.
Additionally, try to get outside and take a 15-minute walk, not only for the physical benefits but to also clear your mind and regain your focus.
If your office has a parking lot, you can also park far away to get in extra steps. Consider walking or biking to work if this is a feasible way to commute, per BioSpace.
Just because you are sitting at your desk doesn’t mean you can’t be active. There are numerous seated stretches you can employ throughout the day to help prevent physical pain and injury, per Healthline.