Sitting in an office chair is pretty much inevitable for most of us that spend the majority of our days sitting and working in front of the computer. Most office chairs get put to good use, with some spending hours of overtime regularly as well as more time sitting in a chair than sleeping in a bed at night. If you are anything like me, you do not take time to consider just how much use you get out of your office chair, especially if you are sitting 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Those countless hours of use can add up and eventually wear down your chair. For most, this will happen sooner than expected especially if your chair is not properly taken care of. Cleaning and maintaining your office chair are key components to prolonging the life of your chair but it takes more than just a wipe down with a rag to keep your chair looking new. If you want to extend your office chair’s life, save your money and the hassle of having to continuously purchase new chairs there are certain necessary steps to take to get more out of your chair.
- Purchase a Chair That is Built to Last – The easiest way to ensure that a chair will be designed to withstand years of use is to purchase a chair that is built to last. This is simple, if you are looking for a bargain chair at your nearest Staples or Office Depot, perhaps you will get a great price but in turn you will also be receiving a chair that is made of bargain components. In other words, it will not last you as long as you might expect and you will most likely need to purchase another new chair a year or two down the line. It actually makes more sense in the long run to spend more on a chair that will last ten years then to have to continuously purchase new chairs every year, and is less of a hassle.
- Look at the Manufacturer Warranty – Almost every office chair comes with a manufacturer warranty, and if they do not it is probably not worth your investment. It is crucial to read each manufacturer’s warranty to determine if the chair of interest will be a worthwhile purchase. Find out what parts are warranted and for how long each component of the chair is warranted for. You can tell a lot by a manufacturer’s warranty; if their parts are warranted for 10 years or have a lifetime warranty, this shows they are that confident in their product and construction of their chair that they are willing to take the risk of extending the warranty for multiple years. Remember when a part breaks on your office chair, that comes out of the manufacturer’s funds to have to replace it which is why some warranties are very limited. It is important to keep in mind that all manufacturer’s will warrant their seat fabrics for less time than their components, which is standard with everyone because this is the first part of all chairs to fade with time due to how often it gets rubbed/used. If you want to make certain that the fabric on your chair will not fade over time, try looking for a chair that has a higher grade fabric as an optionor opt for a vinyl/leather chair that tolerate a bit more use and abuse than fabric chairs.
- Clean Your Chair Regularly – Spills and stains are bound to happen as well as unpleasant order, which is why it is important to be proactive in cleaning your office chair regularly. A good upholstery cleaner will do the trick and keep your chair looking new for years. Keep your upholstery cleaner and a clean rag in a convenient location in case a spill happens. As soon as something is spilled, quickly use your upholstery cleaner blotting the stain with a clean rag before the stain has time to spread and set in the fabric. It is also possible to make your own fabric cleaner with warm water and a little detergent. Be careful to clean gently in order to avoid ruining or damaging the fabric. If you are accident prone, there is also the option to opt for a vinyl or leather office chair which would be much simpler to clean.
- Inspect the Chair Every 6 Months – Just like any other piece of machinery that gets used often, screws and bolts can become loose as time progresses. In order to avoid accidents, such as a chair collapsing or a part giving out, you should inspect your chair at least once every 6 months to make sure all parts and components of the chair are tightened. Look for defective casters/wheels, loose securing bolts, loose arms, broken mechanism, and evidence of cracks on the base of the chair from stress. If any of these parts are broken, contact your furniture dealer to see if these parts are under warranty. As aforementioned, if your chair has a good warranty, you should be able to get these replacement parts shipped to you for free.
- Do Not Lean Too Far Forward or Too Far Back – Be wary to not lean too far back in your chair so that the wheels or legs lift up from the floor. Leaning too far back can cause the chair to give from under you and cause structural damage, or loosen key components that can cause the chair to break or fall apart. Not only that, but you can hurt yourself as well! On the contrary, you also need to make sure not to lean too far forward by putting all your weight on the front of your chair. The chair can tip over leading to your chair getting damaged or even worse you getting hurt by falling onto your desk.
- Determine the Weight Rating – Standard office chairs are designed to hold up to 250 pounds. With the exception of specialty big and tall office chairs, with some that can hold up to 550 pounds, most office chairs you will find online can only hold a maximum weight of 250 pounds. If your weight requires a specialty chair, it is best to pay the extra money to get one otherwise your chair will not be under warranty and will exponentially increase the chances of it breaking much quicker. Big and tall office chairs are constructed with heavy-duty components, sometimes this even includes and all indestructible steel frame, and are specifically designed for tough environments. Every good office chair website will have a place on their product pages that explains the maximum capacity for each chair and if you are unable to find that information do not be afraid to ask.
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