With its various functions, your office chair allows for mobility in various ways — its ability to swivel being one of them.
But sometimes, you get to the point when your office chair continues to spin even when you’re not using it.
You may think it isn’t a big thing, but the longer you put off trying to figure out what’s happened, the more it’ll annoy you.
Worse, it could continue to damage not only the chair but the other furniture you may have in your workspace.
Don’t let it get to that point.
Luckily, we’ve outlined several possible causes for why your seat swivels continuously.
We also included a list of things you can do to lock your chair and keep it from spinning.
Ready? Let’s start!
Table of Contents
- Why Does My Office Chair Spin?
- How to Lock My Chair and Keep It From Spinning?
- The Wrap Up
Why Does My Office Chair Spin?
An office chair’s swivel mechanism isn’t very complex. Although brands use different ones, there are common ones:
- The gas cylinder and its internal piston allow the upper part of your chair to rotate in either direction.
- Some brands have bearings with still balls inside. These balls allow the inner part of the bearing to rotate while the outer one remains stationary.
As time passes, the swivel can become uncontrollable, causing the chair to continue spinning even if it isn’t your intention. When this happens, the feature that provided so many advantages now gives you a lot of headaches.
An office chair’s continuous swiveling can be caused by several things:
Your Chair is No Longer Balanced
Your office chair rotating feature is possible because of the swivel mechanism attached to your seat’s base. But once you stand up, it is supposed to stop on its own because of inertia.
Over time, the seat of your chair becomes imbalanced. When one side is heavier than the other, the odd distribution of weight causes the chair to continue turning even when you are no longer moving it.
Try to see if your seat leans more towards one side. If it does, consider these possibilities:
The chair’s casters are uneven.
If one of the wheels at the foot of your office chair is bent or deformed, the chair tilts in that direction. Not only will it cause more discomfort when you sit down, it also causes the chair to keep rotating especially when it’s vacated.
The chair is currently placed on uneven flooring.
If your floor is uneven, not every caster makes contact with the surface when you’re not sitting on it. Those that are located in spaces that are deeper than the rest will be where the tilting happens. It also triggers unnecessary movement or rotation even when your seat is supposed to be stationary.
The Swivel Plate is Loose
At the base of your seat, you’ll find your office chair’s swivel plate. It typically looks like two plates with a mechanism between them. It’s that apparatus that allows your seat to rotate.
As with any mechanical object, it’s subject to wear and tear. As you continually use the chair — and especially if you use it to turn from side to side — the screws holding your swivel plate in place begin to loosen. When this occurs, it may cause your chair to turn continuously.
The Chair’s Base is Loose
Your office chair’s swiveling pole attaches to the seat’s base. If there’s too much space between the pole and where it fits into the seat, there won’t be enough friction to stop your chair from spinning once it starts.
If your seat continues to spin, its sides or armrests often collide with your desk’s edge. This movement may cause damage to your other furniture or the chair itself.
When you start noticing that it’s beginning to happen, it’s best to check your office chair to see if you can nip it in the bud.
How to Lock My Chair and Keep It From Spinning?
An ergonomic chair’s swivel feature is popular with users. But if you ever get to the point where you want to make it stop spinning, there are varying ways to lock it.
Replace Any Damaged Casters
If you find your chair is imbalanced and trace it back to having a bent caster, you easily replace those by doing a couple of steps.
Although there’s only one damaged wheel, it’s best to replace the entire set. Pull out your office chair’s existing casters one by one. Typically, these are attached to your chair’s base through a snug fit, so they should pop out. In the unlikely situation that they’re screwed in place, use a screwdriver to loosen them.
Casters usually pull out from the sockets easier than they go in. Before trying to attach your new set, apply some lubricant. WD-40 is a good option for this step.
Use a rubber mallet to secure the new set of casters in the sockets. Flip the chair over when you’re done and see how it affects your chair’s balance.
If your chair seat isn’t tilting to one side anymore but it continues to rotate uncontrollably, then it’s time to check your swivel plates.
Make Sure There are No Loose Screws
Turn your seat upside down and remove the base and gas cylinder. Once those are out of the way, locate the swivel plate.
It’s typically connected to the base of the seat. The easiest way to spot it is to look for two plates with a small, central mechanism separating them at the center.
Make sure that the screws or brackets that you can find on the base of your office chair are tightened. Take a quick look at the bottom of the stand as well and see if there is anything that you can secure. Once you do this initial step, put the chair back into its original position and see if it solves the swiveling concern.
Most of the time, this should take care of the rotating problem. If it doesn’t, you may need to consider locking your swivel plate in place.
Use a Screw
You’ll need to drill a hole through the top and bottom plates. Don’t forget to use a drill bit especially made for metal when you do this.
Once both plates have holes in them, insert a screw through both. Lock the screw so it doesn’t pop out even when pressure or weight is applied. Now you have a stationary chair because the swivel plates are locked in place.
Create an Unbreakable Seal
You can create an unbreakable seal around the edges of the swivel mechanism. You can use a glue gun to do this.
Move the glue gun from one plate to the other, allowing the glue to slowly make a mesh between the two plates. Don’t move too fast — if you do, the string the glue makes will break.
Once you’ve gone around the swivel plates, give it time to cure, rest and harden. The glue, once it hardens, prevents the office chair from rotating.
If you want to make the seal stronger, put in another layer of glue mesh. You can continue building on your seal until you feel it’s enough to keep the swivel plates in place even if you try to rotate the seat.
If you don’t have a glue gun, you can use sticky pads or rubber cement to make the seal. It’ll achieve the same results.
Remove Excess Space Between the Base and the Swiveling Pole
You can achieve this by fitting in a small rubber wedge. Hammer it gently into the space you want it to stay. Don’t pound it in too hard — you may end up damaging the chair instead.
There are instances when the wedge pops out. If you have difficulty keeping it in place, you can wrap the tape around the pole.
Usually, a single wedge is enough to keep the chair from swiveling, but you can choose to add another one on the opposite side if you feel you need more stoppage.
The Wrap Up
As with all things with moveable parts, your office chair is also subject to wear and tear.
You might end up with a chair that won’t stop spinning, but this doesn’t mean that you have to replace it with a brand new chair.
Getting an ergonomic chair is always a good investment, but why go in that direction when you don’t have to? A quick fix that you can do yourself can save you some bucks.
There are multiple reasons why a chair won’t stop spinning, and there are several ways to stop it.
Sometimes it’s just because of your casters. At times it’s your swivel plate. You’d be surprised, but there are instances that where you place your chair may contribute to the problem.
Figuring out what causes your office chair to spin continuously can help you figure out what you should do next.
So take a chance and see if any of our tips work. Good luck!
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.