If You Work These Jobs, You Don't Need to Hit the Gym

Close-up of manual worker using jackhammer and repairing road.


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Close-up of manual worker using jackhammer and repairing road.

Work as Workout

The job description of Amazon or FedEx delivery drivers might seem limited to just driving and delivery, but anyone who’s watched them dash up and down a neighborhood’s driveways know it translates to a hearty dose of lifting and jogging. It’s not the only job that keeps you away from the desk and lifting and bending, squatting and trotting, though. “We regularly see listings for jobs that involve a lot of movement,” says Brie Weiler Reynolds, of FlexJobs and Remote.co, and many provide basically a natural workout in addition to pay (estimated here as mean averages from 2019 data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Related: 15 Household Tasks That Burn Major Calories

Camp counselor with children, chalk drawing of earth

Camp Counselor

Wage: $25,380

Think back to camp days — counselors join in when campers swim, canoe, hike, fish, play field games, put up tents, and so much more. That means nearly every exercise will be employed at some point during a camp session; counselors earn those roasted marshmallows. Indeed.com’s advice for job postings says to note that candidates “must be able to participate in potentially strenuous physical activity,” though this is generally a job that’s seasonal and for the young.

Related: 19 All-Inclusive Resorts Right Here in the U.S.

Lifeguard watching swimming pool


Wage: $25,380

The job of a lifeguard, whether at an ocean, lake, town pool, or health club, is about much more than just being a skilled swimmer — American Red Cross training includes safety and rescue techniques such as CPR and first aid, and lifeguard workouts we’ve seen feature gym-like efforts including swimming, running, and a fair share of lifting, from rescue boats to surfboards.

Related: 25 Celebs Whose First Job Was Worse Than Yours

You Touched the Server

Restaurant Server

Wage: $26,800

The physical requirements of servers are significant, as anyone who’s lifted a tray will attest. Love To Know describes the work as “physically taxing,” including the need to “lift, carry, deliver, and serve from trays weighing up to 50 pounds throughout an eight-hour shift” as well as to balance a “serving tray on one hand while distributing orders to customers with the other” and carrying and setting up folding tables to support particularly heavy orders.

Related: Jobs That Make Social Distancing Difficult

dog walker

Dog Walker

Wage: $27,060

The theft of Lady Gaga’s pooches put the job of dog walker in the spotlight. Maybe self-defense should be added to a job description that includes arm strength, being fast on your feet and, most importantly, stamina. “A dog walker has to be able to keep up with your dog’s energy if you want your pet to be happy. When they take your dog out for a walk, they should be able to keep pace for at least 20 minutes to give your pup the exercise he needs,” Pet Qwerks Toys says to people looking to hire. “Stamina may be the most obvious skills every dog walker needs. When the dog walker is in good physical shape, they won’t try to cut time on the walks, and they will gladly go the extra mile to make sure your pet is happy.” 

Related: 19 Small Businesses You Can Start With Less Than $1,000

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Foot Locker

Shoe Seller

Wage: $27,600

A shoe sales associate might have to unload trucks, stock items on the sales floor, and set up displays. Requirements outlined by JD&RE, a site for job description and resume examples, also include: “Strong physical fitness to stand or walk around the storeroom, sales floor, and the register area for almost the whole of work time [and the] ability to lift items weighing up to 50 pounds occasionally and frequently.” In a high-end or mom-and-pop shop, sellers may also do a lot of bending to help customers as they try on pair after pair of shoes. It’s a job of endurance and yoga-like stretching.

Related: Where to Buy Shoes and Boots That Are Made in America

baggage handlers
VanderWolf-Images / istockphoto
Myth: Trimming Your Hair Makes it Grow Faster


Wage: $31,530

Hairstylists spend most of their shift standing and walking, and “the job requires frequent reaching to cut or style the client’s hair, which can tire the arms and hands,” The Houston Chronicle says. “Self-employed stylists, such as those who rent space or who own their own salons, often work long hours to accommodate their customers’ schedules. Overall, hairdressers should possess excellent stamina to withstand the physical demands of the job.” After a long day in the salon, there’s really no need to hit the gym, as all the stretching and bending you’d get from an aerobics class has been done.

Related: These Are the Biggest Hair Myths You Should Get Out of Your Head

Mixed Race Bicycle Messenger Cycling on City Street
Woman working in a supermarket sorting fruit and vegetables

Grocery Stock Clerk

Wage: $32,130

A grocery clerk helps unload products from trucks, organizes stockrooms and can clean cases and shelves, mop and sweep the sales floor, and operate equipment. Overall, “work involves walking and standing, and lifting, moving, carrying, and stocking product,” the Publix grocery chain says. Good stretching, constant motion and a bit of weight lifting … save that gym membership.

Related: Why Trader Joe’s Employees Are Surprisingly Helpful and Happy

Ingrid Balabanova/shutterstock


Wage: $32,360

There’s often real camaraderie on landscaping teams, perhaps due to bonding over hard physical labor. This isn’t a job where you mow the lawn leisurely, taking breaks for sips of lemonade. No, a landscaper is on the move constantly, whether mowing, planting, watering and weeding gardens, blowing or raking leaves, cleaning the gutters, or in some places, removing snow. You get a full workout, bending and lifting, moving, and even balancing on ladders. 

Related: 13 Industries Potentially Affected by Immigration Crackdowns


Delivery Driver

Wage: $38,520

There were about 51,410 delivery drivers before the pandemic arrived — now it feels like Amazon, FedEx, and UPS must employ millions. But they’re not just cruising the streets, but often delivering sometimes quite heavy packages at a fast pace. Most delivery positions require that an employee be able to lift at least 70 to 75 pounds and keep to a tight schedule, so this job should allow you to bypass the weight room and jogging path. 

Related: Jobs That Could Grow During the Pandemic and Recession

Young woman working as a carpenter

DIY Upcycler

Wage: $38,740

Just think of having to lug a vintage door scored at a flea market back to the workshop before crafting into a contemporary coffee table and you can imagine why being a “DIY upcycler” is good exercise. Weiler Reynolds, of FlexJobs and Remote.co, says such jobs can be good in general: “There's plenty of research showing the physical and mental health benefits of being more active throughout the day.” 

Related: 10 Tips for Reviving Your Outdoor Furniture

One man's trash...

Sanitation Worker

Wage: $41,400

While a sanitation worker helps keep a community clean and healthy, the job can be physically demanding, with workers lifting heavy objects and toiling in all weather conditions, performing manual labor when equipment isn’t compatible and often performing routine maintenance on their trucks, The Balance says.

Related: 51 Things to Toss Right Now for Spring Cleaning

Close-up of manual worker using jackhammer and repairing road.

Construction Worker

Wage: $41,730

Construction workers frequently stand for long periods handling tools and equipment, and need to “use stomach and lower back muscles to support the body for long periods without getting tired,” an Illinois job site says. Lifting heavy loads is another common task on a construction site, whether it’s hefting one brick after brick or wrestling with iron beams or big machinery.

Related: 44 Jobs That'll Soon Be Lost to Automation

Ranger talking to hikers in Arches National Park.

Park Ranger

Wage: $43,400

Thinking of spending a lot of time outdoors? Perhaps a job in a park is ideal, since “a core tenet … is health and wellness,” says Jared Mummert, of the Virginia-based National Recreation and Park Association. “It’s a major perk of the job — to be able to lead people on hikes, get kids active through sports and encourage a healthy lifestyle.” Park rangers may be kept busier than ever as “with COVID-19 and all of the changes to our daily lives, people realize the importance of having parks and open spaces close to home so they can breathe fresh air and have spaces to exercise,” he adds. “It’s a trend that’s here to stay and is something that park and recreation professionals have seen the value in doing for a long time.”

Related: 32 Bucket-List Experiences in America's National Parks

Basketball coach
Nikola Stojadinovic/istockphoto
Little hiphop dancer stretching with young female teacher at dance studio.

Dance Instructor

Wage: $45,110

Dance instructors at schools, dance studios, and community centers come professionally trained in one or more disciplines to teach a variety of styles and techniques to students from beginners to the advanced, Betterteam says. They can expect a solid aerobic workout for every class they teach, from ballet to salsa. While the job includes more than just the physical (interacting with students, motivation, and good communication skills are also needed), leading class after class means being able to skip aerobics at the gym.

Related: 15 Wacky Workouts to Try This Summer

Photographer and rock climber Norbert Frank taking pictures while hanging in front of a rock


Wage: $45,440

Surprised to see this profession listed? You’re not alone. “Sadly, many photographers don’t realize how physically demanding photography can be, or only realize it when they get left behind at the trailhead,” SmugMug warns. Indeed, it takes a lot of stamina to shoot a wedding, cover a football game, lug equipment to a remote shoot, or just crouch down and move around to get the littlest subject to smile.

Related: The Best Gifts for Photographers from Newbies to Pros

Personal Trainer

Athletic Trainer

Wage: $50,540

Athletic trainers are certified health care professionals — often with master's degrees — that have expertise in injury prevention, emergency care and rehabilitation and work with athletes, performing artists, and industrial employees, and it’s a job where you don’t tell, you show, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. 

Related: Don't Let These 12 Sports Injuries Ruin Your Summer

mail carrier
Young Female Sculptor is working in her studio


Wage: $63,030

Art is not the easy life. Just ask any large-scale sculptor. They might be involved in lifting copious amounts of stone, metal, wood — and be on the move as they work intently on their creation. “A sculptor shapes clay, stone, marble, wood, and other materials (even ice and potatoes) into two- or three-dimensional art. Some sculptors carve out stone or marble or weld pieces of metal together into free-standing statues. Sculptors also carve into walls or other surfaces,” The Art Career Project says.

Related: Beyond the Museum: Spectacular Outdoor Art You Can See for Free

Preparing their patient for the next operation


Wage: $77,460

A warning to potential nursing students can be daunting. “Standing and walking is required for the majority of time spent in the clinical area,” which is four to eight hours, and there’s “regular lifting of medical supplies, medications, patient supplies, and patient charts, all weighing up to 10 pounds [as well as] CPR equipment and other medical equipment weighing up to 45 pounds,” says the Redlands Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma. “One is required to assist in lifting and transferring patients of varying weights and is expected to request assistance when lifting, ambulating, and repositioning patients. One must be able to support at least 75 pounds to reposition, transfer, and ambulate patients safely … pushing/pulling 70 to 100 pounds is required when administering patient therapy and care, as well as when pushing equipment such as oxygen tanks and monitors, and when transporting patients in wheelchairs, beds, or gurneys. Pushing is required at 3.5 pounds of pressure when administering CPR. Full manual dexterity of both upper extremities is required.” That’s a workout any gym would have trouble matching.

Related: We Asked Nurses About Their Favorite Walking Shoe