Productivity Loss Due to Extreme Heat to Cost India Billions

Soaring temperatures affect not just health but productivity and businesses too. 

1 min read
Vendors take a nap on stacked sacks of vegetables at a wholesale market on a hot summer day in Chandigarh, India, 29 May 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Under the stifling summer heat, risks of heat exhaustion and stroke are high. Productivity takes a hit and business slows down.

And every year, as temperatures reach new records, it is getting worse. In May, Rajasthan recorded India’s highest temperature ever, at 51 degrees Celsius.

These conditions make it impossible to work. The total cost to the economy could amount to $450 billion in losses in Gross Domestic Product by 2030, a series of new studies found

(Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
(Photo: The Quint)

Extreme temperatures, from 37 degrees and up, heat up bodies. Though sweat evaporation can help cool people down, humidity prevents sweat from evaporating. People working on the side of the road or in factories without cooling systems suffer the most.

Already, India lost 1.5 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from decreased productivity during heat waves in 2010.

If countries want to work around heat limitations, they will have to rethink working hours so people are not labouring during the hottest times of the day, the authors wrote. Employers will also need to develop strategies to help their employees cope with dehydration and heat stress.

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