Three Common Problems with Office Chairs
We know how dealing with an office chair that is broken, needs to be fixed or needs to be adjusted can be a royal pain. Sometimes it is easier to ‘take’ another co-workers chair!
But really, it shouldn’t be that way. Most office chairs can be fixed because most issues are relatively common, relatively simple. For example, the height adjustment feature isn’t working or the arm rest is wobbly – those problems can be fixed.
And there really is a direct correlation between decreasing office efficiency and increasing office safety issues when office chairs don’t work like they are supposed to.
Let’s discuss the three most common problems with office chairs, and how to remedy them before stealing Susan’s chair again!
Office Chair Problems
- Your cushion’s lost its oomph
If you find that your seat cushion isn’t as comfortable as it once was, perhaps you need to consider a different style of chair. There are many chairs which are designed to look good and are comfortable to sit in for short periods of time, but they’re not meant for longer periods of sitting. Check the box or ask the salesperson what the rating is for seating time. Many boxes now state that they have been rated for a specific maximum weight based on usage for 8 hours.
The chair’s material is also an important factor that can make a difference. While cutting open the chair certainly isn’t an option, you can usually tell the better quality seats from the way the cushion feels when you are sitting on it and get up again. If the cushioning stays compressed when you stand, it is likely to break down faster and will not be comfortable for long. Read more about the pros and cons of different types of office chair materials by clicking here.
Higher end chairs have the company’s unique brands of foam inside the seats. These are more durable and will remain comfortable for a longer period of time. An interesting way to test the comfort of a chair seat is by kneeling on it. When you can feel the support underneath the seat cushion, you know that particular chair cushion won’t be very comfortable for any length of time. The cushion is one element of a chair where you truly get what you pay for.
- The wheel’s ain’t rolling the way they used to
Many people don’t realize that the standard castors your chair came with are intended for use on low pile carpet. Most chair manufacturers recommend that you use a chair mat, even with the carpet castors, as it enables you to move more smoothly and prevents damage to the carpet. Without a chair mat, you’ll create wear spots in your carpet over time.
If you have a hard floor such as tile, laminate or hardwood floors, you will end up carving grooves and pushing particles of dirt into your floor. Use a chair mat specifically for hard floor surfaces. You can even purchase castors created specifically for use on hard floors; they have a less rigid and more rubberized surface which won’t cut into the floor.
- You’re getting that sinking feeling…
The gas cylinder, also referred to as the gas lift or pneumatic cylinder, causes some of the most common chair problems. If you have a gas cylinder which ceases to work properly, you’ll find that you are slowly sinking while sitting in your home office chair. Some of the most common reasons for this happening include:
- Defective gas cylinder: The only option is to order a replacement. Most manufacturers have warranties on this part and you can contact the manufacturer directly.
- Weight recommendation for the chair has been exceeded: Many chairs have been rated for a maximum of 100kg. If you weigh more than that, ask about chairs with higher ratings; you may have to consider special ordering a chair.
- Age of the gas cylinder: Some gas cylinders just naturally stop working properly over time. You may have a chair for more than 10 years and suddenly the gas cylinder begins sinking. At that point, the gas cylinders have reached the end of its life, and if you really love your chair, inquire about ordering a replacement gas cylinder and installing the new one.