On the busiest day of the year, December 10, FedEx delivery personnel sprinted to deliver 19 million packages, hoisting boxes and leaping in and out of trucks. As a personal trainer, I wondered, how fit these people were, so I shadowed an old friend of mine who happens to deliver for FedEx, for a day of work.
My friend is the perfect delivery dude: a kind and funny giant. Fozzy The Bear. One time I saw him get run over by a truck and get right up afterward. If I had to pick a teammate to wrestle bears, I would pick him. So I strapped on a pedometer and jumped in for an 11-hour ride-along, delivering packages along his route.
In the course of the day, we made 95 stops, which he said was about average. Here’s some of the data I collected:
We lifted a minimum of 2,420 pounds. We delivered 242 packages, averaging 10 pounds each, totaling more than a ton. That’s significant, especially considering many packages are lifted more than once on its way to your doorstep.
We walked/ran 14,705 steps, or about 6.97 miles. That’s nearly 50 percent more steps than the 10,000 recommended by the American Heart Association for daily minimum activity. And the 6.97 miles weren’t slow, either. I like to consider myself somewhat fit, having circumvented Mt. Rainer via the Wonderland Trail before heading directly to the summit. I would also like to think I’m a fair judge of effort. Let me assure you, I extended a fair amount of energy to keep up throughout the day.
We ascended and descended the equivalent of 37 floors. The cab of the delivery truck sits about 3.5 feet up off the ground. This means that in those 95 stops we made throughout the day, we ascended and descended at least 332 vertical feet, or 37 stories. This isn’t necessarily Mt. Everest territory, but would get you one-third the way up the Empire State Building and is hell of a lot more than most people gain in a single day of work.
Jesse Hermreck is a Denver-based trainer who writes at www.jesseaugust.com. Photo by Jesse Hermreck