The Quality Issues​ of Inferior Office Chairs

According to estimates, an office worker spends at least 60,000 hours in an office chair during his working life. But do you know the safety risks and quality issues of office chairs?

In China, the State Administration for Market Regulation recently released the latest results of the national supervision and spot check on office chairs.

Unqualified office chairs mainly have the problems like the five-star base broken, the casters fall off, the formaldehyde exceeds the standard. And there is even the risk of gas cylinder explosion.

Inferior Office Chair Quality Issues

Issue 1: Inferior gas cylinders cause explosions in severe cases

This may be the most common quality issues of the office chairs.  In fact, the pneumatic swivel chair uses a gas cylinder, which is commonly known as a pneumatic rod. And the gas cylinder is filled with inert gas. The adjustment button can realize the lifting of the seat by changing the pressure difference.

If the wall of the gas cylinder is too thin, the inert gas is not pure, or even using the compressed air instead of the inert gas, it may cause the swivel chair to explode. In addition, if the seat is repeatedly raised and lowered frequently during use, the temperature may become too high, and an explosion may occur.


The State Administration for Market Supervision has conducted a number of tests on the safety of the staff chairs produced by the manufacturer against the gas cylinder, especially the high and low temperature resistance test.

If it fails, there may be a risk of explosion under extreme conditions. To know more, please refer to “The Structure And Safety of Office Chair Gas Lift“.

Issue 2: No explosion-proof steel plate installed

To prevent the explosion of the office swivel chair from causing casualties to the greatest extent, an effective protection method is to install a certain thickness of explosion-proof steel plate between the gas cylinder and the seat cushion of the swivel chair.

It is reported that the thickness of the explosion-proof steel plate cannot be less than 2 mm. And that is to prevent the gas cylinder from exploding during use, penetrating seat faces the human body and causing harm.


Many factories do not add this part in order to save costs. The chairs like that will pose a safety hazard.

Issue 3: Thin tube wall and poor strength. The five-star base of the swivel chair will easily break.


The base of some office chairs was broken during the inspection process. The five-star base is an important part of the swivel chair, which plays a role in carrying the weight of the human body. If the metal five-star base is made thinner, or a weaker five-star base is used, it may break during daily use, which may cause the user to fall.

The static load of the office chair base is tested as shown in the figure. In the laboratory, the inspector puts pressure on the five-star base. If the five-star base is cracked, the static load is unqualified. And that means the strength of the five-star base is unqualified, which may cause an injury.

Issue 4: Excessive formaldehyde in office chairs may cause cancer

Office chair fabrics, fillers and wood-based panels may release formaldehyde.

If the quality of these materials is not good enough, it may cause the office chair’s formaldehyde emission to be unqualified. Long-term exposure to excessive formaldehyde emissions will have certain effects on the human respiratory tract and may even cause cancer.


Issue 5: Unqualified flame retardancy of office chairs

In addition, the most common problem in substandard products is flame retardancy. Especially the office chairs that are used in public places. Public places are often densely populated and complex buildings.

If the office chairs have unqualified flame retardant properties, they will not only fail to prevent the fire from spreading when a fire occurs. But on the contrary, they will also encourage flames to burn, causing serious casualties.

It is reported that the State Administration of Market Supervision has instructed relevant provincial and municipal market supervision and management departments to conduct regular random inspections of office chairs in the market.

Severely deal with the unqualified products and their production and operation enterprises, especially the unqualified enterprises in continuous random inspections. And order the enterprises to stop production and sales of substandard products, and rectification within a time limit. Supervise and urge enterprises to implement the main responsibility for quality and safety production.


Now that you have known the quality issues of the inferior office chairs, you may want to learn about how to ensure the quality of office chairs then.



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