Hate Being Chained To Your Desk All Day? 20 Jobs That Keep You Moving

desk jobs leading to poor healthMost of us no longer earn our salaries by the sweat of our brows. Instead, we work at sedentary jobs, don't work up a sweat on the job (except from stressful situations), and put on the pounds. Fortunately, not all high-paying jobs are sedentary, especially those in health care and education.

A study at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that the number of jobs in private industry requiring at least moderate physical activity has sunk from nearly half in the early 1960s to less than 20% today. Specifically, men burn an average of 142 less calories in a workday, women 124 less.

Researchers have linked desk jobs to increased incidence of back pain, eyestrain, obesity, and even colon cancer. The LSU study concluded that the decline in caloric expenditure at work closely matches the national increase in average weight. One Australian study found that men who sit at their desks for more than six hours per day were almost twice as likely to be obese as men who sit for less than 45 minutes. An American study found that women who worked at a sedentary job for 14 years gained 20 pounds over the women who worked in the least sedentary jobs.

Some of the decline in workplace activity is caused by shifts in the economy -- away from manufacturing, mining, and logging and toward service, especially information services. Even in offices, people are probably doing less physical work than they used to do in the days when desk workers cranked mimeograph machines, hand-collated documents, whacked staplers, carried memos from one room to another, and typed (and re-typed) on manual typewriters.

Nevertheless, two fast-growing segments of our economy offer jobs that combine moderate physical activity and good income: health care and classroom teaching.

Health-care workers such as registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and their assistants and aides usually need to move around among examination rooms, rooms where paper work gets done, and rooms where specialized equipment is used. Those who work with bed-ridden patients often need to lift or turn patients; other health-care workers set up and take down diagnostic and therapeutic devices.

Some education has shifted to webinars, but most instruction is still done by a teacher standing in front of a blackboard. Instructors who move around among teams of students working on projects, for example in a laboratory or studio setting, get additional exercise.

Those who want a higher level of physical activity on the job might consider the construction industry. Although currently construction work is scarce because of the glutted real estate market and the shortage of funding for infrastructure projects, the industry's long-term prospects are considered good by the U.S. Department of Labor. Workers in skilled trades, such as electricians, plumbers, heating and refrigeration mechanics, and carpenters are physically active and earn good wages. Their supervisors are a little less active but are even better paid.

Following is a list of some of the best non-sedentary jobs, ranked by their combined scores for income, job growth, and job openings. The information is derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


Occupation

Median Annual Earnings
May 2010

Projected Growth
2008-2018

Average Annual
Openings

1. Registered Nurses

$64,690

22.2%

103,900

2. Physicians & Surgeons

$165,270

21.8%

26,050

3. Physical Therapists

$76,310

30.3%

7,860

4. Compliance Officers

$58,720

31.0%

10,850

5. Teachers, Post-Secondary

$64,109

15.1%

55,290

6. Physician Assistants

$86,410

39.0%

4,280

7. Pharmacists

$111,570

17.0%

10,580

8. Construction/Extraction Supervisors

$58,680

15.4%

24,220

9. Teachers, Elementary

$51,660

15.8%

59,650

10. Occupational Therapists

$72,320

25.6%

4,580

11. Instructional Coordinators

$58,830

23.2%

6,060

12. Veterinarians

$82,040

33.0%

3,020

13. Teachers, Middle School (except Special/Career/Technical Education)

$51,960

15.3%

25,110

14. Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Mechanics/Installers

$42,530

28.1%

13,620

15. Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses

$40,380

20.6%

39,130

16. Radiologic Technologists

$54,340

17.2%

6,800

17. Firefighters

$42,250

18.5%

15,280

18. Respiratory Therapists

$54,280

20.9%

4,140

19. Plumbers, Pipefitters, & Steamfitters

$46,660

15.3%

17,550

20. Special Education Teachers, Middle School

$53,440

18.1%

4,410


Next: Ten Jobs for Outdoorsy Types



Don't Miss: Top 10 Companies Hiring Now



Stories from FINS Finance

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

7 Comments

Filter by:
David Rivero

What about an Automobile Mechanic?

Here is some humor for you !
Cars are just like the Human Body.

1. Computer = Brain
2. Oil & Water pump = Heart
3. Feet = Tires
4. Eyes = Headlights
5. Blink Your Eyes = Winshield Wipers
6. Ears and Nose = Sensors
8. Food = Gas
9. Mouth = Intake
10. Butt = Exhaust

There are a lot more similarity's, but I don't want to get too crazy.

August 22 2011 at 5:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anne Hathaway

The website Best Top Jobs has a FREE list of hundreds of companies hiring people to work from their homes.

August 21 2011 at 9:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
thefacts22

Laurence Shatkin PHS....They dont want what you are suggesting .... They will rather be sitting on their fat............all day. So why you even bother to give suggestions? Go into sales, produce OR YOU ARE FIRED.

August 21 2011 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mad Dog

THESE JOBS ARE NOT FOR THE UNEMPLOYED. THEY ARE FOR THE KID HEADING OFF TO COLLEGE.THE UNEMPLOYED OF AMERICA DON'T HAVE 4 YEARS AND 200000 DOLLARS TO REEDUCATE THEMSELVES.

August 21 2011 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mad Dog's comment
toddisit

Yep, and a degree today may mean much less or nothing in many cases. Most employers will find other things in your background that are lacking, experience, length of employment in other jobs.
I don't think most of those job categories are even hiring. Another thing, if you aren't interested in working in medical which is half or more of that list, where are those jobs? No diversity at all. When they cut medical budget, those jobs will be gone also, government based.

August 21 2011 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bmitche

Good idea !!

August 19 2011 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bmitche

Good idea !!

August 19 2011 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

Week of Sep 21 - Sep 28
View All

Picks From the Web