It’s the beginning of a new year and the activity tracker craze is everywhere.  You can’t go to the grocery store, mall or even work without seeing people with a Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch or any of the other fitness monitors tracking their every step. People everywhere are trying to get in their daily steps so they can be healthier and happier.

The Minnesota Zoo is no different: zookeepers on almost every trail wear fitness monitors daily to see just how far they go at their physically demanding jobs. They even have mini-competitions to see whose work area takes the most steps during a day. The zookeeper with the most steps is deemed the winner and receives bragging rights in knowing they work the toughest routine in the Zoo…for that day, anyway.

Staff from around the Zoo monitor their daily steps, stair flights climbed, and miles walked to compare just how different each other’s eight hour routines are. Now you can compare, too! How does your daily activity compare to members of the Zoo’s staff? Do you take as many steps as a Northern Trail zookeeper? Or climb as many flights of stairs as a birds show trainer? Could you beat a bird zookeeper by walking 7 miles a day? Use Zoo staff averages below to see what it’s like to “walk a day in our shoes” during a typical shift for us at the Minnesota Zoo.

Work Area Steps Flights of Stairs Miles
Northern Trail Keeper 16657 21 6.43
Aquariums Keeper* 12517 30 6
Birdshow Trainer 11394 33 5.06
Bird Keeper 14393 N/A 6.89
Marine Mammal Trainer* 9780 23 4.39
Bird Team Supervisor 10810 N/A 5.35
Close Encounters Keeper 11,184 27 4.6
Farm Keeper 13542 13 6
* Denotes work area that requires swimming