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List of Physically Demanding Jobs

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If you can’t get enough bench presses or wish you could stay on your feet all day, there are plenty of physically demanding jobs that can make your wishes come true. These jobs integrate the benefits of a workout into your professional life. Whether you’re building homes or responding to 911 calls, you are likely to stay in good shape while working on one of these jobs.

Building a Career

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Construction sites are filled with physically demanding jobs. Masons cut heavy blocks and lift them into place after applying mortar. Roofers need to move bundles of shingles and hammer them into place, row after row. Carpenters and drywallers must be able to lift sheets of plywood and wallboard and hold them up as they apply nails or screws. You’re subject to extreme heat or cold due to lack of cover for all of these careers. You’ll also need to stand or kneel for long periods, sometimes in cramped spaces. The physical strain from all of these jobs results in more on-site injuries than the average career.

A Good Fit for Fitness

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Trainers need the stamina to lead exercise classes for sustained periods, sometime multiple times per day. If you want your class to reap the benefits of an elevated heart rate over a 45-minute workout, that means you can’t get tired and take a break in the middle of leading your aerobics, Zumba or spin class. Weight trainers need the proper physique to operate workout equipment and demonstrate its proper use to clients. Personal trainers lead workouts with different individual clients every day. You won’t last as a trainer if you can’t handle a full day of physical activity.

Fighting and Fitness

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Whether you’re a U.S. Army soldier or Navy sailor, stamina and strength are job requirements. A 21-year-old male needs to be able to do 35 push-ups and 47 sit-ups and run 2 miles in 16 minutes and 36 seconds just to get into the Army. Other branches of the military have similar requirements. Combat soldiers might find themselves in any of a number of physically demanding jobs, from loading supply trucks to placing heavy ordnance into cannons. You’ll need to march for long distances laden down with supplies. Special Forces members face even greater physical rigors.

Helping Others, Helping Your Endurance

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Workers in emergency situations can’t let physical demands on their bodies prevent them from responding. Police officers need the stamina to chase down and collar suspects. Beat officers are often on their feet all day. Firefighters need the strength to enter burning structures weighed down with equipment or to train a heavy hose on a fire for sustained periods. Emergency medical technicians need to race to those in need, lift them onto stretchers and then lift them into waiting ambulances. Staying in shape will allow you to respond quickly and decisively to any of a number of stressful situations these jobs present.


Rudy Miller has been writing professionally since 1996. Miller is a digital team leader for, a local news website and content provider to the Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pa. Miller holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Miami.

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