The Office Chair Parts Guide

Office Chair Parts Guide

Your Office Chair Parts Guide: Breaking Down Your Chair Piece By Piece

 If you have ever taken a close look at your office chair, you may have asked “What is that thing called?” or “I wonder what that does?” Well, question no more… our office chair parts guide takes the mystery out of your most basic chair parts. Once you find out what each chair part is, we'll teach you how to adjust them at our office chair adjustment guide here.


Peter Opsvik

The arms of the chair can help take tension off of the user's shoulders and neck while typing. There are different types of arms available:     

  • Flip up arms: Arms can be flipped up and out of the way to allow the user to easily get in and out of the chair, or moved if they are getting in the way of proper posture.
  • T-arms: Come in both fixed and adjustable options. Adjustable arms should be set according to the user’s height and should match elbow height when elbows are bent at 90 degrees allowing for the proper typing position.
  • Loop arms: Fixed arms that do not require/allow adjustment. Aesthetically pleasing in all office settings.

Peter Opsvik
Arm Pads:

Arm pads support the user’s arms, maximizing ergonomic benefits and comfort. They are durable and designed to enhance the look of the chair and work space.        

Peter Opsvik

Casters are pivoting rollers attached to the bottom of the chair to allow it to move easily. They are often referred to as the chair’s “wheels,” but a wheel is just one component of a caster. A caster is made up of a wheel within a mounted frame, or fork. Casters should be selected based on the user’s flooring: 

  • Soft casters: Made of urethane or soft rubber. For use on hard surfaces such as tile and wood.
  • Hard casters: Made of hard rubber and plastic (nylon). For use on carpets or carpet squares.
  • Glides: Metal or plastic discs attached to a chair’s legs to help it move. For use on commercial carpets and floors.

Peter Opsvik
Chair Base:

The chair base provides chair stability and movement. Many office chairs have a 5 point chair base and typically the larger the diameter, the more stability the base provides. Bases can be made of different materials:   

  • Polypropylene: Will work for average, light to medium use. If a lot of wear and tear is expected or users have a bigger build, a metal base may be a better option.
  • Aluminum: Lightweight but strong. Aluminum finish looks nice in professional office settings.
  • Steel: Strongest and most durable base option. Good for heavy use.

Peter Opsvik
Chair Cylinder:

The chair cylinder is also referred to as the gas lift. It is located between the seat and the base and allows the user to adjust the height of the chair for comfort and the biggest ergonomic benefit. 

Peter Opsvik
Chair Mechanism:

The chair mechanism can be multi-functional depending on the chair and allows the user to adjust the chair to the preferred, ergonomically correct position.

Peter Opsvik
Cylinder Cover:

The cylinder cover adds style to a chair while protecting the cylinder from dust, dirt and damage.

Peter Opsvik

Footrings are the circular metal base often found on drafting stools. They provide extra foot support and balance, by allowing the chair to be shifted and turned without tipping.

Peter Opsvik

Headrests can reduce neck pain and strain by giving the user a place to rest their head when relaxing or reclining. Must be adjusted to the proper height, depending on the user.       

Peter Opsvik
Lumbar Support System:

Headrests can reduce neck pain and strain by giving the user a place to rest their head when relaxing or reclining. Must be adjusted to the proper height, depending on the user.       

Peter Opsvik
Seat Pad/Pan:

The seat (technically called a seat pan) provides cushioned support and should be adjusted to allow the user’s knees to be bent at 90 degrees with feet touching the ground for the greatest ergonomic benefit. User can choose the upholstery and padding depending on the needs of the workplace. Seat should match the width of user’s hips and depth of user’s thighs.