Keep on moving! If you’re looking for a job that keeps you in motion, check out these ideas for active jobs to keep your mind and body engaged.
Not everyone is meant to work in an office environment. Some people thrive on more active jobs, whether indoors or out, and there seems to be a fair amount of health benefits to go along with it. Knowing what type of work environment suits you best is the key to career success and fulfillment.
In this article, we’ll talk about active jobs, including:
What is an active job?
What are the benefits of having an active job?
5 examples of active jobs
In a nutshell, an active job is one where you’re not sitting for most of the day. They might include reasonably vigorous activities such as walking, lifting, bending, or even climbing! There have been studies that show that jobs that are extremely sedentary have negative health outcomes, such as an increased risk of heart disease or diabetes, due to the lack of movement over the day. It might even be bad for brain health. A study done at UCLA showed that the more a person sits, the higher the risk for thinning of the brain’s medial temporal lobe, which is essential for forming new memories. It might be tough, though, in this digital age to find a job where you're not chained to a computer all day unless you deliberately choose an active job.
So we all know we should incorporate more activity into our daily lives, but how about our daily careers? Absolutely! In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.” If you add all these benefits to the fact that many active jobs pay well, it’s a “win-win!”
Other benefits of having an active job include:
It can add more variety to your workday. If you thrive when every day is different, this will help you be more engaged in your work.
It's been shown that physically active people generally have higher rates of mental and emotional well-being, enhancing mood, alertness, and ability to concentrate.
A physically active job can boost learning, critical thinking, and analytical skills.
When you think of active jobs, you might think of fields such as food service, construction, dance, or professional sports. But there are a wide variety of active jobs out there in multiple fields, so the odds of finding one that fits your goals and experience are in your favor.
An event planner organizes, plans, and executes meetings, weddings, charity events, award ceremonies, or parties. They work with clients to define their needs, budget, and event goals, procure catering, entertainment, and location, assemble the guest list, obtain any special equipment and materials, and ensure that the event runs smoothly and that the client is satisfied with the outcome. While there might be some time on the phone or in front of a computer, in general, an event planner is on his/her feet much of the time, going from place to place to make sure that everything is going according to plan.
Median salary: $58,750
Fitness trainers instruct individuals and groups in exercise classes, workouts, and strength training to ensure effectiveness, correct form, and safety. They work with clients to assess their fitness level and goals and develop a fitness system that is customized to their abilities and needs. Some fitness trainers have a background in nutrition and dietary needs and may provide education about food, lifestyle modifications, and overall wellness. Fitness trainers may work in gyms, community centers, their studios, or their clients’ homes.
Median salary: $45,380
Firefighters extinguish fires and respond to emergencies. The work is physically taxing and often dangerous. A typical shift might include caring for people who are sick or injured, putting out fires with hoses, pumps, and fire extinguishers while wearing heavy protective clothing and equipment, driving emergency vehicles and carrying the needed tools, maintaining the fire equipment, and performing search and rescue operations during an active fire. When not on a call, firefighters maintain their physical fitness with practice drills and equipment inspections. Most firefighters are employed by local governments, but some work for state or federal agencies.
Median salary: $51,680
A retail salesperson assists with the sale of a store’s products and services, which might include working with customers to locate their desired merchandise and guiding them through the sale process. They may also stock merchandise, handle returns and exchanges, set up merchandise displays, and perform general customer service. Retail salespeople are generally on their feet for most of the day, and if they work for a store that sells landscaping materials, lumber, or cars, they may spend significant time outdoors. Retail salespeople can also work for clothing and accessories retailers, general merchandise stores, furnishing, electronics, appliance outlets, or sporting goods or bookstores.
Median salary: $30,750
Registered nurses (RNs) supply and organize patient care, and instruct patients, their families, and sometimes the public about a range of health issues. They also perform patient assessments, take health inventories, administer medication, coordinate treatment plans, monitor equipment, perform diagnostic tests, and educate patients on how to handle their injury or illness. Nursing can be physically demanding as well as mentally demanding, as nurses are often on their feet, walking to multiple patient rooms and hospital floors, and lifting and moving patients.
Median salary: $81,220 per year
If you don’t currently have an active job (and aren’t looking to make a change, there are still things you can do to offset the effects of being sedentary at work, such as walking around the office for a few minutes every hour, taking a walk on your lunch break, ensure your snacks are healthy, or even consider investing in a treadmill desk or a desk that can be converted to a standing desk. And don’t forget to be active outside of work, too. It all adds up!
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An active job is one where you’re not sitting for most of the day and might include walking, lifting, bending, or climbing.
Regular physical activity can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.
There are many jobs in physically demanding fields, such as construction, health care, emergency services, and sports.
Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator with extensive professional expertise in advertising, media analysis, teaching, writing, and literature. Prior to working for Career.io, Jennifer was a public school teacher, teaching courses in college and career readiness, writing, and public speaking. Jennifer has a master’s degree in Teaching, and is the author of two published novels.