Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Yoga. 2020 Jan-Apr;13(1):3-8. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_5_19.

Can Yoga Meet the Requirement of the Physical Activity Guideline of India? A Descriptive Review.

Author information

Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Siksha "O" Anusandhan Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn, Germany.



Physical inactivity is the fourth major risk factor for global mortality accounting for 6% of all deaths globally and it is a key risk factor for noncommunicable disease occurrences. About 54.4% of Indians are physically inactive and <10% engage in recreational activities. On the one hand, India is spreading the message of Yoga, as a form of physical activity (PA) to the whole world. On the other hand, until now, the Physical Activity Guideline (PAG) in India is not yet fully developed. Therefore, we conducted a descriptive review of the rationality of yoga as one of the PA tools with two hypotheses - Does yoga qualify as a PA tool? Moreover, can yoga help to meet the requirement of Indian PAG?.


An in-depth literature review was carried out using databases such as PubMed, ScopeMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library. All the published articles, government reports and policy documents, which met inclusion criteria with specific reference to yoga and energy expenditure, were gathered.


The search strategy yielded 838 articles, of which 16 documents were considered for review. The review included 7 policy documents and/or studies that discussed PAGs/policy/strategy globally and 9 research studies targeted toward the energy expenditure and yoga. Huge variability was documented in the recommended PAGs globally and yoga found to be the moderate metabolic equivalents of tasks in the form of energy expenditure in this review.


The compendium of physical activities should add a separate category for energy expenditure by yoga. This will help build-up newer exercise formats involving yogic physical activities to comply with the daily-recommended PA dose. In the national PA plan for India, yoga should get a prominent place. Further, in the Indian perspective, an exclusive PA plan is justified instead of a PA embedded within the national health programs in lieu of wider scope.


Energy expenditure; India; national physical activity plan; physical activity; physical activity guideline; yoga

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Medknow Publications and Media Pvt Ltd Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center