our everyday life

Jobs That Require Me to Stay in Shape

by David Lipscomb, studioD

Many careers require a certain level of physical fitness in order to handle various job duties. Law enforcement careers, for example, have obvious implications for being out of shape, and such fields carry stringent fitness evaluations as part of the application process. Other professions require a certain level of endurance and strength when operating tools and equipment and hauling heavy materials. Although it is wise to always remain as fit as possible, staying in shape is mandated with some careers.


Military basic training mandates that each candidate pass a physical test. For example, the U.S. Army requires male soldiers ages 17 to 21 to perform 35 pushups, 47 situps and run two miles in less than 17 minutes. The everyday life of a soldier on base might not carry the same daily fitness needs as one hiking though the mountains in a war zone, but physical training, or PT, often is a daily requirement. Soldiers may be called into action at any time -- including those in the reserves -- so routine PT is common and a must. In addition to endurance, soldiers must possess physical strength, hauling nearly 100 pounds of gear into battle each day. Experienced officers and senior non-commissioned officers who do not have mandated daily PT often cross-train to maintain their stamina.

Law Enforcement

Police officers at every level, including federal officers, must pass certain physical training requirements to enter service. Similar to military training, law enforcement agencies have varying sets of achievements that must be met in order to be considered fit for duty. Running, obstacles and self-defense courses are required. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, for example has a series of self-tests including number of situps, 300-meter sprint times, number of pushups and a 1 1/2-mile run score. -- all prior to entering Phase II training, which includes pullups and more rigorous scoring. Physical fitness tests may be administered multiple times during training, evidence of the emphasis placed on fitness.


Different levels of fitness are required for admission into the ranks of firefighters around the country. One such test is the candidate physical ability test, requiring the ability push, pull and lift around 100 pounds or more of dead weight. Regardless of where firefighters are stationed, they encounter daily rigors every time the bell rings. In addition to hauling heavy hoses, gear and wearing heavy fire-resistant suits, firefighters routinely are tasked with hauling people and animals out of harm's way. Firefighters must cut and chop their way into and out of burning structures with limited oxygen, requiring high levels of endurance and stamina.

Construction Workers

Construction workers do not have standardized fitness training tests that they must pass, other than perhaps a routine physical. However, hauling roofing, lumber, stone and heavy tools all day places a significant physical burden on the worker as does scorching heat and cold weather. Construction workers must maintain themselves adequately to perform their jobs exactly, preventing risk to people or property.

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images