Physically demanding jobs keep you in shape — gym membership not required


Firefighter carring a hose

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Sorry pencil pushers, no one’s going to ask for your picture in a calendar. Having a physical job has plenty of payoffs — looking good in your skivvies is one of them. More importantly, you’re burning a significant amount of calories during the day and are physically fit, so the chances of you being overweight are “slim” to none.

A 2011 report suggests that the shift in labor force has significantly contributed to the obesity epidemic in the U.S. In 1960, jobs with moderate physical activity made up 50% of the labor force; now it's at a measly 20%. That 20% is no joke when it comes to the activity level of workers. In honor of Labor Day — a holiday dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers — here are some common jobs that will definitely keep you active all day long.

Navy Seal

While a college degree is not required to become a Navy SEAL, "the standards of qualification require the kind of mental and physical fortitude that few possess." It takes a special person to become a Navy SEAL. To pass training is a great physical accomplishment on its own. The Navy says that everything in training is designed to push you to your physical and mental limits. If you pass the initial physical screening test, you’ll take a more demanding test that consists of a timed four-mile run; and a timed 1,000-meter swim. The goal is to increase your physical readiness between the two tests so that you are ready to move on to the next tier of training: BUD/S — 24-week training challenge that develops your mental and physical stamina and leadership skills. We’re not worthy!


To become a firefighter you will have to need to take the physical ability test to make sure you can run up numerous flights of stairs while carrying heavy equipment. You’ll need aerobic conditioning, strength and biomechanics.


Nothing’s more macho than iron and fire! Ironworkers usually work on tall structures at high elevations so they need a good sense of balance and agility and definitely cannot be afraid of heights. Also, ironworkers load, unload, move and set machinery and structural steel; and operate cranes, forklifts and aerial lifts — so above-average physical strength is necessary. They work with welding and burning equipment so they sweat in more ways than one.