How to Fix an Office Chair That Leans Back Too Much?

How To Fix An Office Chair That Leans Back Too Much?

Many people sit in an office chair for hours at a time almost every single day. This can be bad for our body, but it is even worse if you do not sit in the chair comfortably and ergonomically. 

Sometimes the most issues stem from the fact that you have an office that chair leans back too much, leading to strain, poor posture, and weakness. 

So, if you cannot figure out how to fix the chair to provide the right angle and view of your desk, then you have to determine how to adjust the mechanisms so that you don’t have to buy a completely new chair. 

How To Fix An Office Chair That Leans Back Too Much

How to Fix an Office Chair that Leans Back Too Much

There are several reasons why chairs will begin to lean back too much or too easily. Knowing these ways can help you identify the cause, which is necessary if you want to fix it.

The three most common causes of leaning back too much in an office chair are the caster wheels, the tilt tension, or the seat plate.

Let’s look at what each one is and how to fix the problem.

Broken Casters

Caster wheels are not always made well and even the high-quality ones can become damaged or break.

If the caster wheels are damaged, then they may bend or skew so that the chair leans backward or in one direction.

Sometimes it is hardly noticeable, but other times the difference is drastic. Either way, it is best for your back, shoulder, and neck to repair the issue.

To replace faulty casters, lay the chair on the ground sideways. Use a screwdriver or socket wrench (depending on the type of connections) to remove the caster wheels from the chair.

You can also use WD-40 to reduce the bolts or screws if they are stubborn. 

After removing the casters, you can put the new caster wheels into the socket. To do this properly, you may need to tap it with a rubber mallet.

Changing the casters also allows you to choose higher-quality parts that roll smoothly, last longer, and do not get stuck on the carpet and other textured surfaces. 

Read More >> How to Fix a Sinking Office Chair

Poor Tilt Adjustment

Sometimes the tilt adjustment features, usually the tension settings, can loosen or weaken over time from regular use and pressure against the mechanisms.

Sit in your office chair and keep your feet flat on the ground. Lean back to figure out how far back the chair will lean. 

As you are leaning back, reach to the underside of the seat to find the adjustment knob or level. Typically, these types of knobs are found on the bottom left side of the office chair.

While sitting, push the knob down while slowly tilting the chair back into a comfortable and functional position. When you reach the desired tilt and inclined, you can release the knob. Test it out and adjust until you are satisfied. 

How To Fix An Office Chair That Leans Back Too Much

Loose Seat Plate

This is a common problem with office chairs and it can happen while the chair is pretty new in some cases.

When the bolts loosen or the plate shifts, this can cause you to lean back or forward in an uncomfortable way and it may be difficult to center your weight to avoid the occurrence. 

Lay the chair on its side and look at the plate underneath the seat cushion. It is the component that rests as a frame beneath the seat for support and strength of the chair’s construction.

If there are any loose screws or bolts, be sure to tighten them. If there are missing screws or bolts, then you will have to purchase new ones as replacements that are the same size. 

Read More >> Top 5 Best High Back Office Chairs

How to Set and Lean in a Chair Ergonomically

A chair is supposed to have a tilt, but how do you know how far you should tilt for both comfort and health?

This is only one of the concerns regarding the way that you utilize your office furniture because every aspect of it can contribute to the health of your seating habits, or lack thereof. 


You may have had school teachers telling you to stop slouching or improve your posture when you were just a kid, but even as an adult it is important to be aware of your posture so that you can avoid back pain.

This is because proper seating can maintain the natural curvature of the spine.

Furthermore, during the morning when we are energetic and not tired of sitting in the chair all day, our posture tends to be pretty good.

How To Fix An Office Chair That Tilts Back Too Much

Then, as you get drowsy, eyes start to sag, and muscles start to weaken, it is more likely that you will slouch, lean back uncomfortably, and create poor positions for posture.

This is natural, but being aware is the first step toward changing it.

While you are sitting up straight, your posture should be at a 90-degree angle, but what about when you are using the leaning backrest on your office chair?

Experts will typically suggest leaning back somewhere between 110 and 135 degrees.

You want to take the tension out of your muscles and divide the weight up to around your body so that pressure is not focused on one area.

The best leaning angle according to some research is right at 135 degrees. 

Also, when leaning back, you should be able to hold the position with ease. If you have to struggle or strain to lean back, then it is probably not going to be healthy or comfortable. 

Read More >> How to Make An Office Chair More Comfortable?


When we lean back, we get farther away from our keyboard. This can cause a problem if you are needing to type while you are leaning back. But if you move everything, the position wouldn’t be good for sitting straight up. So what is the solution?

When sitting up, the screen should be around a foot from your eyes, and your arms should reach out at a 90-degree angle and rest easily and comfortably on top of the desktop.

This allows you to type without too much movement. However, then when you lean back, this can be hard to adjust. We even recommend leaning back sometimes because it makes it impossible to lean on the desk for support. 

While you can move your keyboard closer to the edge of the desk, this is not ergonomic and is a lazy adjustment.

If you plan on working while leaning back ergonomically at 110 to 135 degrees, then the best option for arms and keyboard usage is to purchase a keyboard tray.

The best options are ergonomic and have their tilt to them to keep your body optimally positioned all day long. 

Back Support

For an office chair that leans, the best recline is around 135 degrees, but that is only the case if you have proper support for your back, shoulders, neck, and spine.

Your bottom should always be against the back of your chair. Furthermore, your back should arch slightly and this requires a lumbar support component or pillow for many office chair models. 

A high backrest is usually recommended as well. This is because it helps to maintain proper posture up to your head. Not only that, but higher backrests also have the comfort factor of a headrest pillow.

Even when you are leaning, the high backrest will support your entire body and not allow your neck or head to lay too far back away from the chair and your body. 


Additionally, make sure to adjust the seat of the chair to create space between the back of your knees and the edge of the seat.

To get proper support on your back and legs without pressure on the back of the knees, it is good to have a chair seat that slightly slopes away from the body.

The height of the seat should let you keep your feet flat on the floor with the knees slightly below hip level. 


Keeping the armrests well-positioned is important when you are using an office chair.

Sometimes they do not lean back according to the tilt of the chair so that they are not in a good position to use unless you are sitting straight up at a 90-degree angle.

They should be positioned so that you do not have to scrunch or strain your arms and shoulders.

Then, if they do not move appropriately while you are leaning back, it is best to adjust them out of the way if possible. 

Read More >> Top 5 Best Armless Office Chairs (2022 Review)

Other Considerations

Keeping other things in mind can help you lean back with comfort and ease without making it hard to perform your duties. Make sure that you account for recline when you set up your desk and work area.

If the stuff that you use often is barely reachable sitting straight up, then it may be impossible to reach when you are leaning back. Organize your space so that you can obtain all work materials with low effort. 

The likelihood of eye strain is something to keep in mind as well. This is because you do not want to have to strain to see your monitor screen while you are leaning back.

As we lean back, we inevitably move farther away from the screen.

This is usually not a huge deal, but it is something to keep in mind and you can adjust the size of the monitor or zoom in or out on the screen to make it work out just right for you. 

Final Thoughts On Fixing An Office Chair that Leans Back Too Much

Knowing how to sit in the office chair comfortably and ergonomically is important, especially if you work at a desk for 40 hours a week.

However, chairs can also undergo mechanism deterioration and other problems that can make them lean back without meaning too.

If this is the case, check the caster wheels, seat plate, and other mechanisms so that you can adjust the tilt to be ergonomically balanced somewhere between 110 and 135 degrees.

Then you can work on developing other components so that you can be productive and comfortable while leaning back in the office chair.

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Darryl Higgins

Darryl Higgins

Hi, I'm Darryl. I made this site to help share information & reviews about ergonomic desks, chairs & accessories to help others who want to work more comfortably. Learn more about my journey by reading my bio here. Enjoy!
Darryl Higgins

Darryl Higgins

Hi, I'm Darryl. I made this site to help share information & reviews about ergonomic desks, chairs & accessories to help others who want to work more comfortably. Learn more about my journey by reading my bio here. Enjoy!

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