How to keep my office chair from sinking? (2 easy tips to keep your study or office chair working for many years.)

A sinking office or study chair is one of the most common problem people encounter in Singapore.

Your office or study chair is sinking because the hydraulic (also known as gas spring or gas lift) is not working.

Hydraulics or gas lifts mostly come either from China or South Korea. South Korean hydraulics or gas lifts are superior to China hydraulics or gas lifts. That's why you see expensive Chinese chair manufacturers touting that they use Korean hydraulic or gas lifts and other components.

A chair has over 200 components. One of the most important component of a study or office chair is the hydraulic or gas lift. This is the device that looks like a rod. Look below the chair and you will see a rod between the seat and the leg. This rod is called the hydraulic or gas lift.

Besides the country of origin, it is equally important to know how the hydraulic or gas lift functions and how to use it properly.

The car also has a device like this called a shock absorber. When you drive a car over a road bump, the shock absorber absorbs the bump and soften the bump for you so that you don’t get such a bumpy ride.

In the case of a office or study chair, the hydraulic or gas lift doesn’t act as a shock absorber. Instead, it allows you to adjust the office or study chair height to suit the height of your table or your height. This makes the office or study chair more comfortable.

When your office or study chair sinks and not able to lift up again, the hydraulic (gas lift) is spoilt.

2 simple tips that will keep your office or study chair working for many years: 

1). Don't slump. Sit.

The office or study chair hydraulic (gas lift) will spoil faster if you slump on it. Remember we mentioned earlier that the hydraulic (gas lift) works just like a car shock absorber except that it’s not designed to function as a shock absorber but as a hydraulic or gas lift. That is to lift up and down the office or study chair.

So if you use it as a shock absorber instead, it will spoil faster.

Why do people slump onto the chair instead of sitting down on it? Here are a few reasons. Next time, observe how you or the user sits on the chair:

1). Tired. Usually when we’re tired like at the end of the day we tend to slump onto the chair.

2). Overweight. When a person is overweight, it takes more effort to sit onto a chair so the overweight user tends to slump onto the chair.

3). Children. Ever notice why some of your chairs spoil more often when used by children than adults, even when children are lighter in weight? Observe how your children sit on the chair. Do they sit onto the chair or they jump onto the chair? If they do, then the hydraulic or gas lift will spoil faster.

Although the chair hydraulic or gas lift serve different purpose from the car shock absorber, they are basically the same thing. Everyone who drives know that if they keep jumping road jumps, their shock absorbers will spoil faster. The same goes for the chair hydraulic or gas lift. Use it with care and it will last you many years. 

This slumping action on the chair is the single most damaging action to your office or study chair. Besides damaging the hydraulic, you will also damage the castors and sometimes even break the leg.

The hydraulic, the castors and the leg are the 3 most commonly damaged part of a study or office chair. So if you stop slumping onto your chair, your study or office chair will last you for many years. 

2). Don’t rock violently or roughly. Lean.

The second part of your office or study chair that is more prone to damage is the back. The back of your office or study chair is often connected to the seat through either a centre piece or through the side arms.

In the first case, the office or study chair is designed so that it is easier to install. When the back is attached to the seat through the 2 arms, the office or study chair is more difficult to install.

Another reason why the back of the office or study chair may be attached only to the seat and not through the arm is so that the arms can be removed. This is useful when you have a table with a drawer below and the arms become obstructed by the drawers. These days many home owners in Singapore are not aware of this problem when they design their house. To save space, they will ask their designers or contractors to build drawers below a custom made table. Then when they go looking for a office or study chair for their study room, they find that they can’t find a chair to fit under the table.

(For this problem, we have a model called Kliig Flip. Kliig Flip has arms that can lifted up. Alternatively, we have many other models the arms can be removed.)

When using a office or study chair where the back is attached to the seat and not through the arms, it is very important to not to misuse the office or study chair by rocking it violently when leaning back. If you keep doing that, it is possible for the back to break as the back is only held to the seat through a centre-piece and not on both side by the arms.

Finally if you have a chair that has 2 backrests instead of one. This is often called a duoback or duo backrests or dual back or dual backrests chair. This design is a uniquely Korean design although there are some China copies.

When using a dual backrests chair, don’t twist the back. The twisting action will break the springs that hold the dual backrests. (Some dual backrests chairs don’t have springs holding the 2 pieces but such chairs are extremely uncomfortable. You’d be better off using a single backrest chair in such case.)

If you use the chair properly, your office or study chair will last you many years.


In summary, the parts of your office or study chair that tends to break down first are the hydraulic/gas lift, the leg and the castors. Sitting onto the chair instead of slumping onto the chair will ensure these parts can last you many years. Secondly, the next most often broken part is where the back is attached to the seat or where the backrests (in the case of a dual backrests chair) are attached by 2 springs. To keep the backrest from breaking, don’t rock the chair backwards violently or play with the back by twisting the back.

Like your car, if you treat your office or study chair with kindly, it will serve you for many years and you will save hundreds of dollars. Having said all that, the quality and the components used will also make a big difference as well. For some office or study chairs no matter how gently you use it, it will also break down. Then it all boils down to the quality of the chair and the components they used.

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