Why does my office chair pop? 8 reasons and solutions

  • By: Sam Shaw
  • Date: August 20, 2021
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Why does my office chair pop?

It’s not you, it’s the chair. So you set your rear down on one of those comfortable office chairs you have in your home or office only to feel…a POP! In a flash, away goes that pressure point support, and, like a punctured balloon, you are sinking into your chair wondering what just happened.

You sit there wondering how long it’s going to take your rear to stop tingling and cramping. If this has ever happened to you, don’t despair there is a good chance you can resolve the problem without having to buy a whole new office chair.

What causes the popping sensation?

It is common for office chairs that use gas cylinders (i.e., pneumatic) or coil springs for seat support to have either of these mechanisms fail. This causes them to lose their supportive ability and thus pop before they completely give way.

This ultimately results in an abrupt loss of support and often leaving users toppling over backward when they jump up quickly after sitting down on the chair for a while. What happens is an internal seal leak causing vital air pressure that keeps the cylinder.

However, if your office chair pops, you need not worry. This is a fairly common problem and can be easily remedied. All you need to do is to identify the problem and fix it.

In this blog post, we are going to share with you the 8 most common reasons why does your office chair pop and suggest an easy solution to fix those issues.

Following are the most commonly observed reasons why does your office chair pop:

Reason 1: Your Office chair can pop if it is not level

When an office chair is not level, the air pressure does not have a chance to keep the cylinder in shape and it will most likely pop when you sit on it.

Solution: How to level your office chair?

Try adjusting your chair so that each of its wheels is at or below the same height as the floor surrounding them. You should also know that there’s no need for any edge to be hanging off; simply adjust each wheel until all edges are flush with the surface surrounding it.

Reason 2: Your Office chair can pop if you tip back too far

You may have unknowingly tipped your chair back too far before sitting down which caused both front casters to lift from the ground simultaneously thus allowing air pressure to escape out hard-to-reach areas such as through small cracks around the gas cylinder.

Solution: How to prevent tipping back too far?

Ensure that your chair is sitting level on the ground.  It’s also a good idea to set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you from time to time to check if you are not tilting back too far.

<a class=Fixing your office chair can be a fun DIY project.” class=”wp-image-702″/>
Fixing your office chair can be a fun DIY project.

Reason 3: Your Office Chair can pop if it was just recently tipped over

You may have tipped over your chair before sitting down and now air pressure has escaped through small cracks around the gas cylinder, effectively popping it as soon as you sit down. The same thing will happen when new employees who don’t know better tip over a chair causing air pressure to escape which causes the cylinder to pop.

Solution: How to prevent it?

If your chair is usually a little wobbly, you might want to consider placing books under the front casters to steady it as this will help avoid tilting back too far before sitting down on it.

Reason 4: The wheels are stuck or casters caps have fallen off

If the wheels are stuck, a sudden tilting motion might cause the chair to topple backward as you jump up from sitting, resulting in a popping sound. If the caster wheel caps have fallen off or gone missing, you can bet that when your air pressure escapes it will be headed directly out those spaces where you lost those casters and coincidentally right into your backside.

Solution: How to prevent wheels from stucking?

You may need to apply some lubricant like Vaseline in order to get the wheels moving freely again. However if lubricating doesn’t work, go ahead and disassemble it so that you can clean everything thoroughly and reassemble it correctly with new parts if necessary; although this is never fun work.

Reason 5: There’s a problem with the casters themselves

You may need to replace your casters if you find that they are warped, broken, or missing.

Solution: How often should I replace the casters?

 Casters should be replaced once every few years depending on overtime use; however, there is really no set time period for when it needs replacing as long as you know that it still moves smoothly without making any loud noises.

Reason 6: The armrest is too low

The lower you adjust the armrest, the more likely it will pop as soon as you sit on it. This is because there is a greater chance that your air pressure will escape from the small cracks around where the gas cylinder swivels resulting in popping noises.

Solution: Where to adjust the armrest?

Ensure that each of your armrests is at eye level and that they are not protruding out too far so that they might puncture other things such as hands or arms when you move back-and-forth while sitting down.

Reason 7: Leaning forward to reach desk level

If you have to lean forward to reach your desk while sitting on the chair, air pressure can potentially escape out of the small cracks around the gas cylinder. This results in a popping sound as soon as you sit down and is more likely to occur if there are more people working at the same desk that requires them to sit closer together than usual.

Solution: Do I need to change my chair?

There is no need to change the chair. In such cases, the issue is mainly with the desk size. So, change the desk size to fit everyone’s needs so that everyone is able to sit comfortably together without having to reach forward.

Reason 8: The backrest needs adjusting

The backrest should be adjusted so that it is comfortable enough for you to lean back on, however, it shouldn’t lean too far back. This is because if the chair is too reclined when you sit down, it will result in a popping noise as soon as you sit down.

Solution: How to adjust the backrest?  

There are two ways to adjust the backrest of your office chair:

  • Adjust the backrest to its highest position.
  • Adjust the backrest to its lowest position. While doing this, place a book under the chair so that it doesn’t tilt too far forward when you sit down.

Final thoughts

To prevent your chair from popping when you sit down, make sure that the backdrop height is at eye level and that the armrests are not protruding out too far. Make sure to adjust them so that they don’t puncture other things like arms or hands.

Do a thorough check on the casters if you hear a popping sound when sitting down. Replace them once every few years depending on overtime use or whenever it’s no longer moving smoothly without making any loud noises.

If there is a problem with the backrest, then adjust it so that it leans back just enough so that you can comfortably lean against it when leaning back but not too far back where you will tip backward as soon as you sit down on it causing your air pressure to escape from the small cracks around where the gas cylinder swivels.

Wider desks are recommended to prevent learners from having to sit too close together, especially if there is more than one worker sitting.

We hope this blog post has answered many of your questions. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to write to us and we shall be happy to help!

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