Govt sets up committee to explore Yoga as a productivity tool

Thursday, 25 March 2021 (17:01 IST)
New Delhi: The AYUSH ministry has set up an inter-disciplinary committee to explore whether Yoga can be used as a productivity boosting tool at the workplace that would help boost economic development.

The committee is chaired by H. R Nagendra, chancellor, SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana), Bengaluru. Its members include representatives from AIIMS, New Delhi, IIM, Bangalore, IIT, Bombay, various leading Yoga institutions, the corporate sector and the AYUSH Ministry.

At its first meeting on Wednesday through video-conferencing, the committee recognised that there has been an unprecedented surge in the popularity of Yoga in the past five years, globally. The spiritual connectedness and health benefits of Yoga have been widely embraced by its practitioners.

Various organizations, industries and corporate houses are already hiring yoga instructors to impart workplace yoga for their staff. They believe Yoga would help reduce workplace stress, improve interpersonal relationships, reduce conflicts, reduce sickness absenteeism and thereby improve productivity.

“But the productivity dimension of Yoga - its role at the workplace in offering benefits to employees to perform better - remains unexplored to a large extent. This dimension becomes especially important given the increasing physical and mental pressures faced by employees, exacerbated by the current pandemic, even as employers grapple with the situation and try to improve workplace wellness,” the ministry said in a statement.

Some of the members highlighted that Yoga for productivity is a critically important aspect in the present context when India's growth aspirations are at perhaps its highest.

One of the primary tasks of the committee, it was recognised, is to review evidence that linked Yoga to productivity and analyse the same. The various possible directions of the productivity dimension could then be identified systematically, and along these directions, protocols could be developed.

The committee resolved that it would adopt an approach based on science and evidence in finalising its recommendations, the statement said.

Increasing productivity may mean different things in different contexts, such as increasing profitability, lowering operational costs, optimising resources, seizing opportunity for growth, increasing competitiveness, reducing burnout and increasing employee wellbeing. Hence the work of the committee would involve multiple variables and consequent complexities.

Various institutions from the private and public sector are expected to associate with this study, including universities, hospitals from both modern medicine and Ayush systems, corporate houses and yoga institutions. The National Productivity Council, New Delhi, is also supporting the study.

The committee will submit its preliminary recommendations by May 2021. (UNI)

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