Perhaps the most important feature of an office chair is its ability to adjust its height.
Being able to fine-tune the height of your office chair will allow you to find the most comfortable work position.
Finding the right height for you is one thing, but locking that height in place is another.
In this article, we’re going to show you how to lock your office chair height on different types of office chairs.
We’re also going to tackle a few reasons why your office chair might not lock in place and how to fix it.
So keep reading!
Table of Contents
How to Lock Height on Pneumatic Office Chair
Locking the height on a pneumatic office chair is very simple.
These chairs are designed to make it easy for you to adjust the height and lock it in place as soon as you find the correct height.
If there is a weight (your body weight) on the chair and you pull on the height adjustment lever, the seat is lowered towards the ground.
If you lift the weight off from the chair and you pull on the lever again, the seat is raised by the air pressure in your pneumatic lift.
As soon as you let go of the height adjustment lever, the height locks in place.
There is no need to pull or press any other locks to make sure the height stays in place when you sit on the chair.
How to Lock Height on Screw Adjustment Office Chair
Adjusting the height of an office chair that has a screw adjustment is quite different.
Locking the height on these chairs is also quite different than locking the height on a pneumatic chair.
As you might have guessed, adjusting the height on a screw adjustment chair involves turning the chair clockwise and counterclockwise until you get the desired height.
The problem with this is that when you move around on your chair, there’s a big chance the chair will turn slightly and alter the height of your chair.
This is why you need to do an extra step to lock the height of your chair in place.
Some screw adjustment office chairs have a nut on their threaded post.
This nut is meant to be a stopper. When tightened, it prevents you from readjusting the height of your chair until you loosen the nut.
When you want to adjust your chair height, loosen the nut by turning it with your hand or a large wrench.
After making the adjustment, turn the nut in the opposite direction until it is tight. This is what will prevent your chair’s height from readjusting as you use the chair.
The other type of lock on screw adjustment office chairs is the screw lock.
This little screw lock is located on the base of the chair where the threaded post is inserted.
After turning your chair to find the right height, take a screwdriver and tighten this small screw lock.
What it does is it pushes against the threaded post and prevents it from turning any more.
How to Lock Height on Power Office Chair
Some office chairs have built-in motors that allow you to adjust different settings with the touch of a button.
This includes the height of your chair. You can raise or lower your chair by pressing their respective buttons on your power chair’s control panel.
Just like a standard pneumatic office chair, power chairs also automatically lock their height when you are not pressing on the adjustment buttons.
There is no need for additional locking as they can hold their position even with much weight added on the chair.
A neat feature power office chairs often come with is the memory feature. You can save your custom height settings on the chair’s built-in computer.
This allows you to readjust the chair for different needs and always come back to your preferred setting with just a touch of a button.
Common Problems when Locking Office Chair Height
Faulty Gas Lift
One of the most common reasons why your office chair might not be locking in place is because of a faulty gas lift.
As you may already know, the gas lift is what allows you to smoothly adjust the height of your chair.
It’s a cylinder filled with compressed air. This compressed air is what lifts the chair and makes lowering your chair very smooth.
Every gas lift has a little valve that controls the flow of compressed air. If this valve gets worn out, your office chair won’t be able to maintain its height.
This results in an office chair that you cannot lock the height of.
How to Fix It
One way to fix this is to replace your gas lift with some sort of pole that will fit. This will give your office chair a permanent height, so make sure to get the right measurements.
You can use a PVC pipe or insert a poly insert coupling on your gas lift.
Another fix that you can try that is simpler, is to spray your gas lift with WD-40. This trick works for most office chairs and might work for yours as well.
It isn’t a permanent fix and you’ll likely have to keep spraying every few weeks, but it’s perfect if you want a quick fix.
For more details on how to perform these two fixes, you can read our article on “How to Fix an Office Chair That Keeps Sinking?”.
You may watch this video for more ideas:
Faulty Height Adjustment Lever
There’s also a possibility that your gas lift is still working well but the adjustment lever isn’t.
If the lever is pressing down on the gas lift valve even when you aren’t pushing on it, this will open the valve and release the pressure.
When the pressure is released, your office chair will sink when there’s weight and rise when the weight is lifted.
It doesn’t take a lot of pressure for the valve to open, so if your lever is slightly dislodged, you will experience problems.
How to Fix It
To fix this, first, flip your chair over to get a better view of your height adjustment lever.
If the lever is simply dislodged from its position, you can use a screwdriver to pry it back into place. Do this carefully so you don’t destroy the lever in the process.
If the lever is dented or damaged, however, it may be time to find a replacement.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a replacement lever on its own. You will usually have to purchase an entire replacement mechanism that comes with the height and recline levers.
We recommend getting this one from ChairPartsOnline.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article! Now you know how locking your office chair height works.
If you run into trouble locking your office chair height, make sure to come back to this article and read our solutions on the common problems when locking the chair height.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.