To prevent static shock from an office chair:
- Increase the humidity of the room
- Use anti-static floor mats
- Look into anti-static carpet sprays
- Opt for ESD chairs
- Ground yourself often
- Moisturize your skin
- Wear natural fibers
These tips allow you to approach the issue from all directions, but understanding where static shock from an office chair comes from will help you decide which solutions work best for you.
Keep reading to learn how these reduce static and how to fit them into your workspace.
What Causes Static Shock from an Office Chair
Static electricity gets trapped in objects until the object contacts another with a weaker charge.
In this instance, the Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) varies in intensity, but more powerful shocks can still hit 2000V and cause immediate discomfort.
Static energy is generated when two non-conductive objects rub against each other, something that happens often with an office chair.
Whether it’s the casters on the floor or your clothing on the fabric of the chair, there are plenty of opportunities to build up a charge.
When the pent-up energy releases, you feel a shock from the chair, usually when sitting or standing, or touching another object.
Why You Should Prevent Static Shock?
The most obvious reason to prevent static shock is the discomfort it causes.
While these shocks are generally harmless and will not cause affect your health, no one likes the sudden surge of energy.
This is especially irritating when shaking hands with guests or clients, and it can easily sour your morning.
Static energy can also attract dirt and dust to your carpet and clothing. If you notice you get shocked often, expect a heavier cleaning workload than usual.
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It may also cause your hair and clothes to cling to your body, overstimulating your nerves.
Static electricity can damage electronics as well.
This is more of a concern when working with open circuit boards or setting your hands-on components, but you still risk damaging expensive office materials.
To improve overall comfort and reduce the risk of costly repairs, it’s best to take action to prevent static shock in your office and from your office chair.
Preventing Static in the Environment
To tackle the problem from multiple directions, you need to make a few changes to your environment.
The easiest and most effective ways to prevent static shock include:
- Increasing the humidity of the area
- Adding anti-static floor mats to high-traffic areas
- Using anti-static carpet spray
- Replacing chairs with ESD chairs
By creating an environment that is not hospitable for static electricity, you reduce the occurrence of static shock from your office chair.
If you can, get an indoor thermometer/hygrometer to monitor the climate of your office area. These are usually built-in on thermostats, but it’s a good idea to check out your workspace as well.
The optimal humidity level sits between 35 percent and 45 percent to decrease the occurrence of static shock.
If you live in a dry area or need something to increase the humidity in the winter, a humidifier will help.
These come in varying sizes, so you can pick one to cover the entire office area or a single desk. This also helps if you have any dry spots in the area, like a desk by the air vent.
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Anti Static Floor Mats:
Keep in mind that not every floor mat will effectively prevent static shock, so you should look at those specifically marketed for the task.
You can place these under your office chair to limit static charge or in other areas where static shock occurs often, such as coffee bars or printing stations.
Anti-static floor mats come in varying materials, but they usually include three layers:
- A top layer to discharge any conductors
- A middle, metal layer to draw the charge to the ground
- A bottom non-skid layer to hold the mat in place
You can also find small versions of anti-static mats to place on your desk to discharge the static from your wrists before touching your keyboard or other electronic components.
Anti Static Carpet Spray:
Spraying the carpet with an anti-static spray covers it with molecules known for their conductive properties.
Because of their positive and negative charges, there is nowhere for the negatively charged molecule to move and static electricity will not build upon the carpet.
Because of this, there is no static to transfer through the chair and you prevent shocks from the chair.
Anti Static ESD Chairs:
If it is within your budget and static is a major problem in your office area, look to replace your office chair with an anti-static version designed to discharge the electricity.
These chairs use carefully chosen materials to reduce static potential, focusing on the fabric and casters.
ESD chairs offer the most comfort in high-static areas.
Preventing Static on Your Person
You can limit the static shock from your office chair by changing your habits and attire to limit the static charge on your body.
These changes reduce the opportunities for molecules to pass through your body on their journey to the ground.
When used with the previous methods, static shock instances from your office chair should be few and far between.
Find metal parts of your desk, chair, and surroundings to touch before you sit down or stand up.
This won’t prevent static charge overall, but it minimizes the shock and instances.
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This also creates controlled instances to discharge static electricity and prevent buildup.
On top of maintaining proper moisture in the air, keeping your skin moisturized prevents your skin from causing static as it rubs on your clothes and surroundings.
Keep lotion at your desk to maintain your skin, but make sure this becomes part of your routine at home.
For pesky static problems, look into lotion or shampoo with anti-static capabilities. You can also use wooden or graphite combs to prevent static in your hair.
When choosing clothes for the office, avoid synthetic fibers such as polyester or nylon.
These don’t hold moisture like natural fibers, and the ion imbalance provides the perfect opportunity for static.
Look for cotton or leather materials and avoid wool in the winter.
When maintaining your clothes:
- Air dry when possible
- Use fabric softeners, wool dryer balls, or dryer sheets
- Add vinegar to the rinse cycle (if permitted by the washing machine manufacturer)
Putting a metal pin on your seam or rubbing a wire hanger can also draw away some of the static in your clothes.
Avoid rubber-soled shoes that generate static, instead opting for leather soles or ESD shoes. These stop static at the source and prevent static shock from your office chair.