The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

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131: The Impact of Psychosocial Factors on Wellness Participation with Dr. Mahban Sangachin, People Analytics Consultant

Mahban G. Sangachin

One metric we often look at to determine success in worksite wellness is how many people participate. If we are getting low participation, we often send out surveys asking employees if there are better wellness topics we can offer or what times we should hold events. We rarely focus on what’s called the psychosocial factors (how we perceive our work environment) that impact participation.

Today’s guest, Dr. Mahban Sangachin, published a study titled “Interactive effects of work psychosocial factors on participation in worksite wellness programs.” Specifically, she studied the effects of job demand, work control and social support on worksite wellness participation. There’s not much research on these factors when it comes to corporate wellness so I wanted to bring Mahban’s key findings to light.

In this interview, Mahban explains what got her interested in the research, she walks us through her research methods and the key findings. She also addresses limitations of the study because of course, every study has its limitations. Hopefully this is just the start of further research!

Announcement: I’m holding another small group training from July 15 to August 19, 2019. This is a 6-week weekly session where we briefly cover a Next Generation Wellness topic then spend time discussing how (or if) it would work in your organization or clients. There will only be 7 spots open and I haven’t opened registration yet. If you’re interested, use this contact form to let me know or if you want more info.

Interview Highlights:
  • [5:15] What got Mahban interested in this research.
  • [7:00] The definition of psychosocial factors and examples.
  • [8:03] What Mahban set out to find with the study and the limitations of the study.
  • [14:27] The key findings of the study.
  • [22:22] Job demand and the impact of participation.
  • [24:44] The surprising result of the study for Mahban.
  • [29:00] What a wellness practitioner could do with the results.

Link to Dr. Sangachin’s study

The Redesigning Wellness Facebook Community


Dr. Sangachin’s LinkedIn profile

Full Bio:

Dr. Sangachin received her PhD in Human Factors from State University of New York at Buffalo. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. She is the lead author of over 10 original research articles in the field of occupational safety and health. Her research interest lies at the intersection of safety, health and well-being and their joint impact on work-related outcomes.

She was the 2015 recipient of Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace research grant for her doctoral research about work psychosocial factors and their association with employees’ health behavior.

Dr. Sangachin follows her passion for human factors as a people analytics consultant where she applies social science’s research methodologies and data science techniques to solve employee-related business problems.

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