Why do office chairs have 5 wheels?

  • By: Sam Shaw
  • Date: August 4, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Why do office chairs have 5 wheels?

People often wonder, “Why do office chairs have 5 wheels?”

Office chairs have five wheels for a variety of reasons. These include stability, ergonomics, and aesthetics. On top of everything, it is due to cost-effectiveness.

Office chairs were first conceived by the Romans who had to sit on pillows in order to avoid sitting cross-legged during long meetings. This style proved uncomfortable and difficult to balance over time so they began adding more supports in order to make it easier for them. They eventually came up with designs that resembled what we see today but without any armrests or lumbar support.

If you are here to know in detail, why do office chairs have 5 wheels, then this article is going to be an interesting read for you. Below, we have summarized 5 key reasons why there are 5 wheels in an office chair.

7 reasons why do office chairs have 5 wheels


The first reason why durable office chairs usually have 5 wheels is stability. With five wheels, there are more points of contact with the ground which leads to better stability when used on hard floors or carpeting.

Stability is a critical factor especially if you spend a lot of time sitting on your office chair. You don’t want an office chair that tips off when you shift your bodyweight towards the front of the backside of the chair. Thus, five wheels allow you to shift your body weight at any point on the office chair seat without any worry of tipping off.

Nothing is more important than having a stable office chair at your workplace.

Ease of moving across carpets and tiles

There is hardly any office where you wouldn’t need to move chairs from one point in the office room to another. If you use legged chairs instead of wheeled chairs, reposition the chair becomes nearly impossible (unless you stand up from the chair, pick it up and place it at another spot).

With wheeled chairs, you can keep sitting on the chair and move across the room without much effort. With 5 wheels, it is easier to move across carpets and tiles. It takes less effort than dragging them across surfaces and they can be instantly moved anywhere in office space within seconds.

Chairs with less than five wheels often tend to tip off when repositioning on a carpet or floor. That’s why 5 wheels are preferred so that chairs can be repositioned without compromising the stability.


Having an office chair with five wheels gives it a modern, sleek look that may make people more comfortable working in the space. They also allow you to customize looks as well!

Space Saving

Chairs with four legs take up more floor space than ones that have five legs – this means that they can be placed side by side or even one on top of another without there being any problem if needed

Weight Saving

A chair with five wheels is lighter than one with four or three because the extra wheel in front takes some weight off your back and shoulders – this can make it easier to move around as well.

The size of the chair

Three wheels instead of five wheels in this scenario would mean the leg length of an office chair would be narrowed for less space.

If you only had 2 legs in your seat they would be approximately twice as long as a chair of 5 legs for more accurate weight distribution over four legs.

Thus, having 5 wheels in an office chair allows us to have more compact and smarter office chairs which suit most offices.


Although 6 wheels would have given more stability to the chair, it would also have been more expensive to produce. Similarly, 3 wheels would have cost less but would have been less stable. Experts consider 5 wheels to be a perfect balance between stability and cost-effectiveness.

What role do 5 wheels play in your office chair?

1. The first wheel is for the back

2. The second wheel is for your neck

3. The third wheel is to stop you from rolling backward 

4. The fourth wheel locks the chair in place and prevents it from moving 

5. And finally, the fifth wheel stops you from rolling forward – this one also has a brake so that when you’re not using it, it doesn’t roll around all over the office floor!

Are there any legal limits on wheels on office chairs?

The OSHA guide to office seating is great to have for your employees. As per the guidelines, 5 wheels in an office chair offer the best support, stability, and safety for your employees.

What is more stable a 4 legged chair or a 5 legged chair?

Generally, it is known that a 5 legged chair has more stability than a 4 legged chair. This is because of the front and back legs. The front two are placed closer together which means they have better stability on carpeting or tile than a chair with four wider ones – why do office chairs have five?

Why are three-legged chairs not used in practice?

It is possible that 4 legs are preferable over 3 legs. Based on this fact it is surprising why a chair is formed with five legs. By simply removing one of the legs one can significantly reduce the long and laborious assembly of such chairs. However, three-legged chairs would greatly compromise the stability of the chair.

Should your office chair have wheels instead of legs?

Yes! You should always purchase chairs with five wheels because they offer a variety of benefits.

The first reason why you should prefer wheeled chairs over a legged chair is because of stability and ease of moving across. Having five wheels helps to keep the chair balanced on hard floors or carpeting so that it doesn’t tip over.

An office chair with wheels gives you a lot of freedom.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, office chairs have 5 wheels for some really good reasons. These reasons vary from offering stability to ease of moving the chair and cost-effectiveness in building the chair. Make sure that you buy a chair that comes with the warranty of chair wheels. Also, keep an eye on your office chair’s wheels just in case any screw of wheels goes loose. An office chair should give you a comfortable experience to work in your office and we hope to provide you with all the information that you need to select the best office chairs for your workplace. Happy sitting!

Does it take time to adjust to a new office chair? Yes, it may take up to 2 weeks to adjust.

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