Modern Office Furniture

How to Install an Adjustable Office Chair With Wheels

Autonomous Autonomous | Dec 6, 2018
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Some adjustable office chairs with wheels need to be installed after delivery. They come with included instructions and installing such a chair should not take too long, even without the help of a professional.  So how does a typical adjustable office chair install? The process begins by preparing the base with the wheels and then continues up with the cylinder, seat, and headrest. Most office chairs come with numerous parts which can be pre-assembled or which need to be installed separately by the user.

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Step 1 – Installing the base

Each adjustable office chair with wheels comes with a base which normally has 5 arms for extra stability. Each arm corresponds to a caster. It should be clear that each base design should come with 5 casters which need to be installed in their holes or locations.

It is important to place the wheels in place properly. This means having a tight fit for all of the casters. Most importantly, it represents a good opportunity to click the casters into position.

If a caster is not properly mounted, it can lead to wobble. But it can also lead to the chair not staying in its right position. Casters can also be removed if they need to be replaced in time. If the casters are too warn and they start damaging the floors, it is an indication they need to be replaced.

Step 2 – Installing the gas cylinder

Most modern adjustable office chairs with wheels are made with gas cylinders. These cylinders are actually known for coming with a pre-installed design and they only need to be placed into position. To do this, users might need to place the cylinder in the hole of the base. The step is straightforward. As with the wheels, the cylinder can also be replaced in time, if it becomes defective. A defective cylinder is behind what is known as a sinking chair, where the seat of the chair doesn’t remain in an elevated position.

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Step 3 – Installing the armrests

Before installing the seat, armrests also need to be dealt with. Of course, the design of the armrests is different from case to case. Some people notice they come with 2 bars which are the foundation of the armrests, 2 cushioned armrests, and 4 screws to secure these armrests to the bars.

The process is simple. Each armrest is installed at a time. Using 2 securing screws, the armrests are tightened and secured to the bar. The same process is repeated for the other armrest. Since the process is straightforward, there are not too many things to go wrong. However, users need to ensure the armrests are headed in the right direction. If the armrests have a square design, they can be mounted either way. If the armrests are actually narrower at an end, they need to be installed with the wider end towards the backrest of the chair, to ensure a platform for the elbows to sit on.

Step 4 – Securing the armrests to the seat pan

The armrests now need to be secured in position. They are normally connected to the bottom of the seat pan. The bottom of the armrest bars typically comes with a few holes. These holes need to be aligned with the holes on the bottom of the seat pan as they will play a key role when screws are used for stability. One simple way to install the armrests is to simply place the seat pan upside down and then fasten them with the screws the chair comes with. Some chairs also allow width adjustability. This refers to the distance the armrests have formed the seat pan. Adjusting the armrests should be made to ensure the user can sit comfortably on the chair. Of course, this can easily be re-adjusted when needed. Most users will need to experiment with different widths for the armrests before settling on a permanent position. Using a screwdriver, the armrests can be adjusted for the perfect support.

Step 5 – Installing the chair mechanism

Installing the chair mechanism is not complicated. Users can simply attach it to the bottom of the seat pan. To install the chair mechanism, the seat pan is flipped over. With the adjustment handles facing the front of the seat pan, the chair mechanism is aligned with the screw holes on the bottom of the seat pan. There are at least 4 screws which secure the chair mechanism to the seat pan with each adjustable office chair with wheels. Depending on the screws, they can be tightened with a screwdriver or with an Allen key.

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Step 6 – Installing the backrest

Since the seat and the armrests are in position, the backrest can now be installed. The bottom of the backrest typically attaches to the chair mechanism at the bottom of the seat pan. This can be done with a sliding movement.

When the backrest is in position, it needs to be secured. This can be done with three or four securing screws, depending on each adjustable chair’s design. Since the backrest comes with a heavier weight, users should simply adjust each securing screw as they go, with no force. When all screws are in position, they can be tightened.

Step 7 – Connecting the chair to the base

The main parts of the office chair can now be connected. The bottom part connects to the chair via the gas cylinder. The gas cylinder needs to be inserted into the chair mechanism. Some designs come with secure tightening for the cylinder, which improves the stability of the chair even further.

Step 8 – Attaching the headrest

Not all adjustable office chairs come with headrests. But those which do can now be installed before being used for the first time. A headrest can come with multiple holes for its securing screws. Normally. Two holes on top of the backrest mark the spot where the headrest is secured. The headrest is placed on the backrest and the screws are tightened into position.

Once the headrest is installed, users can also adjust it if its design allows for position customization. An adjustable headrest can be moved forwards if needed but it could also be moved vertically to suit various user heights.

Step 9 – Adjusting the lumbar support

Some chairs come with adjustable lumbar support. From a traditional perspective, the lumbar adjustment knob is located on the back of the chair. It works by adjusting the lumbar support vertically or by the depth and it represents one of the main adjustments users can make for a correct working position.

It is also a good time to adjust and readjust the armrests. The simplest way to do this is to find the right height for the armrests. At the same time, they can also be re-adjusted for width and the distance from the user’s body. If the armrests are too far from the body, the user will not sit comfortably. If the armrests are too close to the body, there will be too much tension in the shoulders and upper back. It is why the armrests and the lumbar support can be adjusted together with the headers at the late stages of the installation process. This small fine-tuning ensures users actually make the most of their new chairs.

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Replacing the adjustable office chair wheels

After a few years, some component of the adjustable office chair might need to be replaced. Since casters are actually used every day with various movements around the office space and since they deal with user weight, they might need to be replaced in time when they stop working properly. This means the office chair also needs to be properly maintained with new casters.

To remove the wheels, the chair needs to be flipped over. The casters are then pulled individually out of their location. New casters can be installed by hand. They need to be placed in position, applying force, until they are secured in position.

How to test the wheels of an office chair

Casters can be made on various floors. Since there are multiple materials to consider with some chairs, it is crucial to understand their similarities and differences. Soft plastics are recommended for hardwood floors or tiles. Harder plastics are recommended for softer surfaces such as carpets. Custom casters can also be used for most chairs.

To use or not to use the headrest

Since many adjustable office chairs with wheels actually come with a headrest, many users are thinking to install it at all. But is this the right way to go? Of course, each user can individually choose if and when to use the headrest. If you want to ensure the best working position or if you are actively fighting a bad posture at the desk, it is recommended to use a headrest. Simply keeping the head on the headrest ensures the back remains in a more vertical position.

Those who do not want to use the headrest for various reasons, can simply leave it out or take it off after the chair is fully installed. However, if the chair comes with an ergonomic design, it is recommended to make the most of its support. Even as a small weight is lifted from the spine when the head is supported by the headrest, it can still count at the end of the day when there is a reduced impact of the working position maintained for hours.

The right way to install an adjustable office chair with wheels

Regardless of the steps above, users should actually follow the instruction manual of their chosen chairs. Each design can be different and while the steps can be similar, there are plenty of particularities each manufacturer offers. The good news is that there are not too many tools to be used in the installation process. Most premium chairs should come with all the needed installation tools out of the box. This can include screws and Allen wrenches. But at the same time, many of the steps can be simply followed using hand installation and users can make the most when it comes to putting the chair together themselves.

In some cases, installing the chair incorrectly can lead to premature wear. This can also mean the warranty may be affected. It is why most users are recommended to install the office chair following the step by step guide from the chair’s manufacturer.

Final thoughts

The best adjustable office chair with wheels can only be the best if it is actually installed correctly. It means that the office chair’s parts need to be placed in position as intended by the manufacturer. Following the guidance above, each user can install a chair or replace certain parts if needed in time. Furthermore, each office chair is installed within minutes. Following the mentioned steps should not take too much time, even if you haven’t installed an office chair before.

If a chair is installed incorrectly, it will not stay in position in the right way, it will make weird sounds and it will not have smooth movements. Going back to these steps might be required in this situation. Furthermore, it is also recommended to check the screws of the chair from time to time since they can loosen after a few months or a few years, especially with parts such as the armrests.

If you are looking to purchase a new adjustable office chair with wheels, Autonomous has a selection of great products. The ErgoChair 2 is the top choice for an ergonomic support. The OsmoChair is recommended for its ingenious design while the MyoChair is the affordable option for those who want adjustability on wheels. You can always subscribe to the newsletter below to stay in touch with Autonomous for the latest deals and news.

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