You may not realize it, but height adjustability is one of the essential functions of a good, ergonomic office chair. Most of the time, we don’t even bother adjusting a chair’s height unless it’s significantly low or high, but the long-term effects may be more troublesome than you think.
Having a chair that’s too low for your desk may cause you to constantly extend your arms and upper body, putting a strain on your back and shoulders. If you’re experiencing chronic back pain or having posture problems due to a chair that’s too low, look no further. In today’s post, we’ll share our best tips on how to raise an office chair even if your chair doesn’t feature a lever.
How to Adjust Office Chair Height
Let’s start by saying that If your chair doesn’t feature a lever, it may still be height adjustable. In terms of height adjustability, there are a few different types of office chairs. These are:
- Pneumatic office chairs,
- Hydraulic office chairs
- Non-pneumatic (screw lift) office chairs, and
- Non-adjustable office chairs.
Pneumatic office chairs, also known as gas-lift chairs, are the ones you come across the most in an office setting. These modern chairs allow you to adjust the height using a lever under the seat.
A pneumatic office chair features a gas chamber inside a tube attached to the base. In this chamber, the air is compressed under pressure when we lower the seat with our body weight. When the lever is pulled, it releases the pressure, causing the air inside to go back to its previous volume and pushing the seat higher.
A hydraulic office chair works similarly to a pneumatic chair but utilizes liquids inside a chamber instead of air. A hydraulic chair has an additional compartment that holds oil inside. The lever in the second chamber compresses the oil to make the chair go lower and vice versa.
How to Adjust Office Chair Height Without Lever?
If your chair doesn’t have a lever, don’t lose hope just yet. It may be an adjustable non-pneumatic chair. Let’s look at the types of non-pneumatic office chairs and how to raise them. We will also discuss how to raise non-adjustable office chairs.
How to Raise Non-pneumatic Office Chairs
There’s a slight chance that your chair is still height-adjustable, even if it doesn’t feature a lever. Non-pneumatic chairs, also known as screw lift chairs, are old office chair models that are not so popular nowadays, but they are still in use in some places. Here’s what you need to do to adjust a non-pneumatic chair’s height:
Check for a knob or a large screw under the seat first. Some older model chairs have a height adjustment knob at the bottom that you can turn to adjust the seat height. If you look closely at the knob, you’ll most likely find arrows indicating which direction to turn the knob to achieve the desired effect. Turn the knob until the chair reaches the height you want.
Don’t lose hope just yet if there aren’t any knobs or screws under the seat. Some screw lift chairs can be adjusted by turning the seat around like a screw. It may be different for some chairs, but generally, the chair will raise if you turn it clockwise, and vice versa.
If you’re sure that your chair has a pneumatic or hydraulic lift, the lever may be broken. You’ll have to use a workaround trick to raise or lower your chair if that’s the case.
How to Lower Office Chairs Without Lever?
If your chair has a hydraulic or pneumatic lift, usually, the lever is only there to help you activate the lift in a seated position. This means that you can actually reach under and activate the lift manually. To do this, follow these steps:
- Stand up, and turn the chair upside down so that the chair is in a safe position,
- Trace where the end of the broken lever is, find the button that the lever is supposed to press,
- Push in firmly using your hands.
It might take a little more force than you think, but it will solve your problem. However, keep in mind that this is a temporary fix. It can be very inconvenient to raise or lower your chair every single time this way. If you can’t find a replacement lever, try taking it to the store you bought the chair from to get it fixed.
If your chair’s lift is broken and it’s sinking, there are a few things you can do:
- Oil the lift in case the mechanism is old and needs lubrication,
- Get a PVC pipe the same length as the bottom half of the cylinder and place it around the cylinder,
- Use a hose clamp around the cylinder and screw it tight to set the chair permanently to the height you want.
If none of these work, it might be time to replace your lift cylinder. If you want to learn more about these tips, you can head over to our post, where we explained how to fix an office chair that’s sinking.
How to Raise a Non-adjustable Office Chair
Your chair might be a non-adjustable model, but it’s not the end of the world. Non-adjustable office chairs are not desirable for prolonged sitting but can be useful in meeting rooms.
If you have one of these chairs and the height is just not cutting it, that’s fine because we still have a few tips that might do the trick.
Use a Seat Cushion
If your chair is not at your desired height, simply placing a seat cushion can make your chair more comfortable and solve your height problem. You can easily find one of these online for an affordable price, and some even feature gel pads that have a cooling effect. There are even high-end ones that feature memory foam for extra comfort.
As we said, a nice, ergonomically designed seat cushion can easily help you step up your comfort level and give you a height boost.
If you’re looking for a replacement and want an ergonomic chair, however, look no further. We reviewed some of the best ergonomic office chairs on the market right now, and there are some nice options you can buy.
Using Wood or PVC Pieces
Another way to raise the height of your non-adjustable office chair is to manually install small wood or hard PVC pieces under the legs. To do this, you’ll need to drill small holes under the legs of your chair. Here’s what you need to do step by step:
- Find a drill and put one of the smaller tips on,
- Drill holes under the legs, make them balanced according to your chair base’s shape,
- Get evenly cut wood or PVC pieces for each hole,
- Screw each piece into a hole under the legs.
Make sure that everything is tight, as even one loose piece can cause you to fall over. This is not the best solution, and we recommend replacing the chair at your nearest convenience. For height adjustability and other neat features, consider getting an ergonomic chair.
If you want to learn what an ergonomic chair can do for you, you can check out our post where we talked about chair ergonomics.
Now that we have given you all our tips on raising or lowering your office chair, let’s close this off by explaining how to adjust your chair to your height. Setting your chair to your ideal height can save you a lot of pain and discomfort in the long run.
How to Adjust Your Office Chair to the Correct Height?
Adjusting your chair to your own body height is important for your spinal health and your posture. A chair that’s too high can put a lot of stress on your spine, and having it too low can cause you to tuck your leg under you unintentionally. This isn’t ideal for your spine as it creates an imbalance and forces your spine into an unnatural position, which causes chronic pain.
To adjust your office chair to the correct height, follow these steps:
- Sit in an upright position, but don’t tighten your hips too much,
- Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle,
- Hold your feet parallel to the ground, and
- Adjust the height so that your feet touch firmly to the ground.
In today’s post, we explained how chairs are categorized according to their height adjustability and gave you our best tips on raising office chairs without a lever. However, height adjustability is not the only thing that goes into chair ergonomics. You might benefit from replacing your chair with a good-quality ergonomic one in the long run.
If you’re looking for an especially good one, we suggest you check out this Duramont ergonomic chair we have reviewed recently.