Why Is My Office Chair Sinking? How Can I Fix It?
Office furniture is much more important than we give it credit for. When we work in an office every day, sitting in a comfortable chair, making sure the monitor is at the right height, and protecting our eyes and our bodies are all things to keep in mind. Believe it or not, serious injuries can occur when our office furniture is not situated properly. So, if you are wondering why is my office chair sinking? And how can I fix it?
The most likely reason why it sinks is that the chair cylinder has lost its lift. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s completely ruined, as you can fix it. Some ways to fix a sunken office chair include:
- Hose Clamp and Duct Tape
- Plastic Spacer
- Replacing the Cylinder
Do you find your office chair sinking more often than it should? Have you tried to fix it without any luck? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, I’ve collected all the information you need to know on how to fix your sinking office chair and the best way to make sure your office furniture is perfect for you.
Why Your Office Chair Is Sinking & How to Fix It
Fortunately, a sinking office chair does not mean the whole chair is bad, the most likely reason why it sinks is that the chair cylinder has lost its lift. The cylinder is what connects the base to the seat, allowing us to adjust the chair up or down. Inside this cylinder is Nitrogen gas that switches the chambers inside the cylinder to allow it to go up or down. After the use of the chair, the seal on the cylinder wears out and begins to leak preventing the chair from being able to lift.
When your chair begins to sink, there are some easy fixes that include:
- Hose Clamp and Duct Tape
- Plastic Spacer
- Replacing the Cylinder
Now that you know you don’t have to replace your whole office chair when it begins to sink, let’s explore how each of the fixes works and which one is recommended.
1. Hose Clamp and Duct Tape
For a cheap, temporary, and non-adjustable fix, you can use a hose clamp and duct tape to get your chair to stay at the right level until a more permanent solution can fix the problem. You’ll need a hose clamp that is a size 20, or about 13/16” in diameter. Place the hose clamp around the cylinder piston at the correct height. Then wrap the duct tape around to prevent the clamp from sliding.
This is an extremely temporary fix as the duct tape will likely only work for a few days. My advice would be to use this for a few days until you can get a replacement cylinder installed.
2. Plastic Spacer
Another cheap and temporary fix is to use a plastic spacer or piece of PVC pipe to prevent the cylinder from sinking. You can either cut the spacer down the center and wrap it around the cylinder piston or use an uncut spacer and put it in place of the cylinder. This solution works the same way as the hose clamp and duct tape – it only acts as a stop and won’t allow the chair to be adjusted. Also, like the hose clamp and duct tape, this solution is very temporary and may not last for more than a few days.
3. Replacing the Cylinder
The best solution, and the most permanent one, is to replace the cylinder. For about $30 you can order a replacement cylinder and kit that tells you exactly how to do it. Most office/desk chairs are built the same so the parts are easy to replace.
Whether you buy a kit or look up videos online, you can find a step-by-step instruction manual on how to take apart the chair, remove the broken cylinder, and replace it with the new one. Now, your expensive office chair should be good to go for another 6+ years! And all for less than $50.
Sometimes, replacing the cylinder can be difficult, even with instruction material. If this is the case for you, consider calling a local office supply store to see if they can help. Many professionals will do this as a courtesy, but some may have you pay a small fee. Either way, try this first before deciding that you need a new office chair altogether.
Purchasing the Right Office Chair
While we’ve just discussed how to fix your sinking office chair, sometimes it might be too old to repair. In this case, it would be good to know what to look for when purchasing a new one. So, here are some things to look for when purchasing a new office chair:
1. Height Adjustable
Clearly being able to adjust the height of your chair is important, so when looking for a new chair be sure that it has this ability. You should be able to sit so that your thighs are horizontal to the floor.
2. Adjustable Backrest
If the backrest of your chair is not adjustable, you could be faced with back problems from having the wrong posture. Be sure that the backrest on your chair is able to move forward or backward, with a locking mechanism to prevent movement. An added bonus would be if you are able to adjust the height of the backrest as well.
3. Lumbar Support
Instead of using a pillow or cushion to help support your back, look for a chair that has lumbar support already contoured on the backrest of your chair. Your lower back should be slightly arched so that you maintain proper posture and avoid putting stress on your back as the day goes on.
4. Seat Depth and Width
Be sure that if you are taller, the seat depth is enough to give you 2-4 inches between the back of your knees and the seat of the office chair, if you are shorter, the same should be true only with a shallower depth.
5. Material and Padding
padding is important when you sit at your desk all day, find one that has a breathable material that is just soft and firm enough for your comfort.
Armrests on your desk chair help to take the pressure off your shoulders and neck, as long as they are adjusted correctly. Be sure that the armrests are adjustable and padded enough to provide comfort.
7. Swivel and Mobility
Depending on your workspace, mobility in your office chair can be extremely helpful. Be sure that whatever chair you are looking at suits your office space and allows you to move around easily and with efficiency.
It can be easy to spend a lot of money on a desk chair that is ill-suited for you. When you begin looking for a new chair, be sure to keep each of these tips in mind so that you can be comfortable and productive at the office.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ve learned everything that you need to know on how to fix your sinking office chair. Thanks for reading and keep checking out our site for more helpful and interesting content!
Where Can I Find Replacement Chair Parts?
Fortunately, many office chairs were built in the same way so replacement parts fit many different chairs. You can find these parts at your local office store, Walmart and Home Depot retailers, Amazon, and many other places. If you know what piece you are looking for, you can compare prices at different stores and find the one that works for you. Also, many of the replacement parts come with the tools and instructions on how to replace them – so you don’t have to worry about doing it wrong!
How Much Do Office Chairs Cost?
Depending on your needs and budget, an office chair can cost anywhere from $100 to $1500. If you are looking for a good, ergonomic office chair that will last you a long time, you should expect to pay between $350-$800. While this may seem like a lot of money to spend on a piece of office furniture, it can truly impact your body and productivity.
Office chairs that don’t adjust to your needs can cause neck, shoulder, and back pain that limits your productivity makes you less likely to want to go to work and can affect your mood. This is why finding and purchasing a good office chair is so important. You’ll be spending hours day after day using it, so think of it as an investment piece. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of an Office Chair?
Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Of course, it depends on the type of insurance you have and the situation, but insurance companies will cover ergonomic desk chairs – IF it is prescribed by your doctor or chiropractor. You will likely have to purchase the chair out-of-pocket before contacting your insurance provider and getting a reimbursement.
This process can be quite complicated so it’s important to talk with your doctor and insurance provider to see how much they would cover. Insurance companies are willing to cover ergonomic office chairs, especially if they are proven to be helpful to your health.
Another thing to keep in mind is your office budget. Chances are your department or office has a budget for office supplies, and desk chairs should fall under this category. If you talk with your employer about your needs and even provide them with some research and the chair you are hoping to purchase, they may be more than willing and able to cover the cost of the chair for you. After all, you are their valued employee!