How Does An Office Chair Go Up And Down?

Seat adjustments are mandatory for any ergonomic office chair. The seat height adjustment helps to change the height to make sure every user gets the opportunity to adjust the height based on their specific needs. In order to sit in the optimal posture, the height mechanism is a must, trust me.    

So, How Does The Office Chair Go Up And Down? The chair with seat height adjustments has a lever attached to it, mostly placed underneath the office chair’s seat. The lever helps to activate the gas cylinder by pressurizing or depressurizing the gas and moving the piston which allows an office chair to go up and down. 

In this article, I will help you understand how the Office Chairs’ seat height mechanism works and explain why it is needed. You will also get to know about Hydraulic Mechanism and Pneumatic Mechanism in detail. 

Lastly, I will answer a few questions regarding the office chair mechanism, which will be helpful for you. So, keep on reading. 

How Does The Office Chair Seat Height Mechanism Works?

If you already own an office chair with seat height adjustments, you will notice there is a cylinder underneath the office chair’s seat. You might be wondering why it is there and what it does do?

So, what is the purpose of putting a cylinder underneath the chair’s seat? Well, the cylinder contains pressurized nitrogen and a piston rod which further helps the seat move up and downward. However, the cylinder itself will not do the work you need to activate it using the lever.

For instance, when you put weight on the office chair’s seat or simply sit on it and pull the lever, you will notice the seat is going downward. It occurs because the air pressure inside the cylinder increases, which pushes the piston rod downward and takes the seat along with it. 

The attached lever will help you effectively adjust the seat height. You will find some office chairs with two levers; one for lowering the height and the other one that increases the height. 

No matter how many levers your office chair has, let me assure you, adjusting the seat height is pretty straightforward. 

Why Do I Need A Chair With Seat Height Adjustment?

Seat Height Adjustment is one of the core adjustments of an Office Chair. The height of people varies from person to person, and in order to maintain the proper posture, you will definitely need seat height adjustments. 

Let me list down all the benefits of Seat Height Adjustments;

1. Differences In Seat Height Preferences

Seat height adjustments vary from person to person as the height of people will vary. If you have a friend or sibling whose height is different from yours, you can test it all on your own. The chair height which is suitable for you will not be appropriate for that person. 

But when you have the seat height adjustments facility, you both can adjust it as per your needs, just to sit comfortably.

If you want to calculate the right seat height for your height, check out this article: What Size Office Chair Do I Need?

2. Position The Lumbar Support Perfectly

You will often know that most of the ergonomic office chairs come with great lumbar support. But when you buy one, you might not enjoy the lumbar support just because it is not positioned properly. 

Well, in such a situation, it is not the lumbar support’s fault, but the height management’s fault; you might need to adjust the height just to make sure the lumbar support is placed in its proper position in most cases.

Also, if you are a short person and you bought a big and tall office chair, the lumbar support won’t fit you well and will cause you trouble and discomfort.

So, you can imagine how important it is to place the chair at a proper height. Before you buy an office chair, you must check the recommended chair height as well.

The following articles might help you choosing the right office chair for you: 

Note: If you are an average person with average height and weight, the seat height won’t be an issue for you. But if you are a short or very tall person, then you have to be aware of the seat height and recommended user height of an office chair

3. Prefect Position The Feet

As you know, it is very important to place the feet flat on the floor while sitting in an office chair. It keeps your knee and hip perpendicular to each other while maintaining a 90 degree angle with the floor.

When the office chair has the seat adjustments missing, you might not sit in a manner that will allow you to rest your feet on the floor. 

4. Sit Ergonomically 

It is mandatory to sit ergonomically, especially when you need to sit for an extended period of time. When the seat adjustment is missing, you will definitely miss out on other adjustments. 

When your body is not positioned at the proper height, you will not be able to enjoy all the features.

You will find the headrest or the lumbar support positioned below or upper than your desired position; as a result, you will not be able to sit ergonomically, which will cause serious health problems in the future.  

Do Office Chairs Use Hydraulics Mechanism?

Office chairs use a pneumatic mechanism, not a hydraulic mechanism.

Hydraulic mechanism is where fluid power is utilized in order to load heavy things pretty swiftly. To be honest, this feature is used in numerous types of machinery to lift heavy matters using compressed liquid substances stored in a cylinder. 

But when it comes to an office chair, this feature, that is, Hydraulics Mechanism, is not used. The office chairs use Pneumatic Mechanism where pressurized liquid substances are sometimes replaced by compressed gas to lift a lighter weight. 

Why Is Pneumatic Mechanism Used In Office Chair?

Pneumatic Mechanism includes the application of pressurized fluid or compressed gas to smoothen the seat height adjustment function of any ergonomic office chair.

Let me explain how it works.

You will notice that your office chair has a lever underneath the seat. By lifting or pushing the lever upward and downward, you visualize the movement of the seat. 

It is because when you lift the lever, the compressed air or fluid moves downward, making the office chair’s seat move upward. The scenario is completely opposite when you move the lever downward. 

Remember, even though the office chair’s seat height mechanism seems very straightforward, sometimes it can cause accidents, and some reports suggest people have died due to it.

But let me assure you that you have got nothing to worry about, all the incidents that were reported to be the user’s fault, not the chair’s fault. As a result, you might need to take some safety measures in order to avoid these.

Safety Measures Relating To Seat Height Mechanism

As stated, taking some precautionary steps will completely vanish the scopes of any kind of accidents and keep your office chair completely fine.

The safety measures include:

  1. Do not swing your chair up and down constantly, which might make the cylinder explode.
  2. Always use the lever properly before changing the chair’s height.
  3. Do not put so much pressure on the chair; always check the weight capacity before putting the weight. 
  4. Do not let your kids play with the chair. For example, do not let them jump on it. 

What Is The Twist Knob Under Office Chair?

Well, just like the lever helps to adjust the chair’s seat height, the knob helps you to adjust the tilt-tension and recline the backrest. 

By using the knob, you can adjust the tension of the office chair’s backrest and recline at your desired angle.

When you sit in the office chair after adjusting the recline angle, you will be sitting more comfortably and reduce the chances of back pain. 

For more information on this matter, I would humbly request you to read our another article on What Is The Knob & Lever Under My Office Chair For: How to use them? 

Related Questions:

How Does An Office Chair Mechanism Work?

With the blessings of technological advancement, Office chairs come with numerous mechanisms, and all of these serve different purposes. Most of these mechanisms are pretty straightforward. 

In order to make the mechanisms user-friendly, manufacturers do not complicate them. Most of these mechanisms come with handles such as a knob, lever, or other types of handles, which give you the authority to adjust your office chair as per your need.

How Do Chairs Raise Themselves?

When the lever present underneath the seat is pulled upward, the nitrogen gas compressed inside the gas cylinder moves upward by switching chambers which allows the chair to raise itself.

Remember, while conducting the mechanism, you need to reduce the weight for swift shifting. 

Why Does My Office Chair Keep Sinking?

Sometimes the office chair might sink regardless of being new or old. It can occur when the cylinder of the office chair present underneath the seat is faulty or not working properly. 

What Does Cylinder At Bottom Of Office Chair Do?

The cylinder present at the bottom of the office chair contains compressed gas which further helps to adjust the chair’s seat by moving up & down. The gas stored inside the cylinder is mostly nitrogen gas. It switches the chamber when the lever is pulled or pushed. 

Meraj Jahan

Hey, I am a co-author at Office Chair Trends. Not only have I experience working for extended hours behind the desks at my workstation, but I also have seen people in my surroundings suffer from body aches. Being a reader by day and writer by night, I have researched this matter and gathered knowledge along the way. I am sharing all my experiences on this site.