Four More Common Office Chair Problems

yhst-10258600314819_2268_180780659While having an ergonomic office chair helps many desk workers with mitigating those workday aches and pains, even the best equipment can have problems. As a result, a malfunctioning office chair is not only a big distraction to the sitter, but can also lead to major discomfort or accidental injury while at work.

Fortunately, office chairs are fairly easy to fix if you can identify the problem. A continuation from our first post addressing chairs that are the wrong height, fall apart when lifted, or slowly sink down when sat in, here are four more typical office chair problems and how to address them.


Of all the common office chair issues, a squeaky seat is one of the most irritating. After all, even the best worker will experience reduced productivity when distracted by noise.

In general, your standard office chair will squeak as a result of two or more pieces rubbing against each other. Key areas to check include the metal fixings and attachments where the seat and back of the chair are connected.  Depending on what pieces are squeaking, either tighten the loose parts or lubricate the moving parts with an oil spray like WD40.

Seat Tilts Forward/Sideways

Needless to say, an office chair should not be acting like a rocking chair. Whether your chair is in the habit of tilting to the front or from side to side, an unstable seat can be very uncomfortable and frustrating.

Most of the time, an office chair with this problem has a broken, loose, or worn down pivot pin or central column. Unfortunately, unless it only needs tightening, this issue can really only be fixed by replacing the malfunctioning pieces.

Too Much/Too Little Recline

Often related to how the levers are set up or the sitter exceeding max weight capacity, office chairs don’t always recline the way they should. Since sitting in a chair that is too stiff or not supportive enough can cause back issues, addressing recline problems is a good idea.

If your chair does not recline at all (and it used to be able to), chances are it has accidentally been set to a locked position. In this situation, it just needs to be released and adjusted via the control levers. On the other hand, if the back of your office chair completely falls back every time you lean on it, then it could either be locked into a recline position or have a broken (or loose) tension control.

Especially if you are a tall or big boned person, make sure the tension control is tightened and strong enough to handle your weight when reclining.

Uncooperative Casters

While most workers love rolling chairs, having problems with the casters (or wheels) is widespread. Common issues include casters that are sticky, difficult to move, or that habitually veer to the left or right.

There are numerous potential causes for why these caster problems happen. The most typical include rolling your chair on surfaces it’s not made for, using the wrong type or size of casters, worn down casters, or dirt and other grime clogging up the casters.

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