|The Gym at the IAS Academy in Mussoorie|
decrease absenteeism and reduce usage of sick leaves, something that will benefit both the employees and the ministries concerned.
“For women employees a separate time slot should be fixed for their exclusive use and a woman instructor would need to be engaged”, the office memorandum said. This sounds odd as most modern Gyms across cities and towns are designed in such a way that men and women comfortably exercise simultaneously.
The carpet area of the proposed gymnasiums in the government ministries will be of 500 square feet for an office of 500 employees and of 1000 square feet for 1000 employees. The government would extend Grants-in-Aid for setting up of new Gyms or augmentation of infrastructure in existing ones by way of replacing old equipment. The DoPT has further instructed that the place where the gymnasium to be set up needs to be “clean, well lighted with adequate ventilation”. “Fans/ACs for summer should also be installed. The place must also have clean toilet and sanitation facility nearby. There should be adequate space for moving around with the Gym. The safety norms including fire fighting should be strictly adhered to”, the guideline for the setting up of the Gyms said.
Also, trained instructors will be appointed to guide the employees in the Gyms. They will be paid from the budgetary allocations of the individual ministries.
The Gym facility will be allowed after the office hours too. The ministry or the department will be allowed to charge a fee from the users to make it a self-sustaining financial model.
As the background note of the new scheme said, this would increase productivity of the employees. "Their (government employees') sedentary behaviour can have many detrimental effects including an increased likelihood of developing illnesses...Healthy employees are happy employees. A positive and energetic work force collaborates better and is more appealing to customers, which means investing in Gym will improve the functioning and image of an organization”, the OM said.