Even though Labor Day has passed, I thought this would be fun…

By Daniel V. Donatelli

September 7 is Labor Day, a day when we in America celebrate what makes this country great: not working on the first Monday in September. In a way, Labor Day marks the end of summer, the beginning of the school year, and the solemn day when I must pack away my sexy white pants with the embarrassing mustard-and-blood stain. We all know that working hard is hard work, but how hard? Find out by matching the occupation with the number of calories burned per hour.

1.Firefighter – 816 calories. Of course, this is referring to when firefighters are actually doing real work—sliding down the pole, putting out fires, saving lives, posing for calendars, and climbing back up the pole. Most of the time, however, they have a lot of free time on their hands, and they don’t burn nearly as many calories when they’re just going around setting fires and throwing cats up trees.

2.Farmer – 544 calories. There is nothing more rewarding than working the land and seeing your crops grow higher than a giraffe’s self-esteem, except when you also burn a bunch of calories in the process. Day-to-day farming is truly laborious work—forking straw bales, tilling the land, spreading seed, cashing farm subsidies—and that’s why my father always told me, “Danny, don’t work hard; work smart. In fact, don’t even do that. Move to France.”

3.Actor – 204 calories. Speaking of not-working, wine-chugging, quasi-socialist wastelands, here in California we have lots and lots of actors. At a tame 204 calories per hour, acting isn’t exactly going to Bring It. However, some roles are much more labor-intensive than others—for instance, the volleyball scene in Top Gun and the door-chopping scene in The Shining.

4.Desk job – 122 calories. In our modern era, the American economy is no longer predominantly manufacturing based. Our service-based economy leaves a significant portion of our workforce sitting behind a desk and typing on a keyboard. As you can see, that and occasional walks to the water cooler do not burn very many calories. This means that everyone with one of these jobs—proofreader, data entry specialist, Secretary of Labor—needs to get some exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Remember, as my friend DeLane McDuffie says, “It’s not just more of you to love; it’s more of you to tolerate.”

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