When should I replace my office chair?

A high quality, well-crafted chair should last years, but how do you know when it’s time to give your chair the boot?

The answer is, well, it depends. As a general rule, if your chair has a warranty of 5 years, it will last around 7-8 years, whereas a chair with a 10 year warranty has a probable lifespan of 12-15 years. However, the following factors can determine whether it will last longer than expected or shorter than hoped for. Here are a few factors that affect how long your chair will last:

Quality

Characteristics of a quality chair include:

Ergonomics (be warned – this is one of the most overly and misused words in the business – nearly every chair claims it, but much fewer actually achieve it).

Durability – some of the higher end, more expensive chairs are built for light use, so be aware a high price does not mean it can withstand high use.

Comfort – employees who use a chair that they like are more apt to let someone know when there’s a problem with the chair, so that maintenance can be performed. Employees are less likely to take care of a chair they do not enjoy sitting in.

Use

Typical chair warranties cover 8 hour work shifts, five days a week. If your chair is being used back to back for multi-shift work, then it will of course wear more quickly. Before selecting a chair, be sure to order for the correct use.

Environment

Is the chair in a dusty workroom or factory, anywhere that’s moist, or in an extremely warm environment? Or is it in a clean office space? That will help determine whether your chair will last as long as the manufacturer claims.

Textiles & Options

If the task chair is covered with a Krypton, or a stain and soil resistant fabric then it will hold up to wear and tear much longer than a standard fabric. “Double-rubs” is a rating scale indicating how much wear a textile can withstand.
If the chair came with heavy duty options like hard casters, it will likely hold up longer than those without those options.

Know the Signs

If the chair appears worn, if any parts are falling off or loosening, if it’s not comfortable anymore, or if the seating foam has crushed, then it’s time to replace. These warning signs also might signal a decrease in worker productivity, so it’s important to face the problem head-on.

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