How to Fix The Chair That Leans Forward or Sideways?

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Office chairs are designed to provide comfort and support, as we spend many hours sitting on them. The office chair exerts a force on our body parts, getting in direct contact with the chair. If the chair starts leaning forward, backward, and sideways, the body eventually loses support and cushion, which an office chair otherwise provides.

This could be a big problem in the long run, as sitting in an uncomfortable position for a long-time can lead to back pain or muscle aches. Also, it is not a good idea to replace the chair when it starts leaning as office chairs are considerably expensive. In general, a minor issue can cause the chair to lean forward or sideways and can be identified and fixed easily.

How To Fix The Chair That Leans Forward Or Sideways?

Here are a few ways you can try to fix an office chair that leans forward or sideways.

How To Fix The Chair That Leans Forward?

To find a solution, it is critical to figure out the problem that is causing the chair to lean forward. Here are some problems causing the chair to lean forward

  • Loosen nuts and bolts in the tilt tension could be a cause of this problem.
  • Damaged castor/wheels can cause the chair to lean forward or backward.
  • Loose bolts and nuts in the seat plate could also be the reason behind this issue.

Tilt Adjustment

Office chairs offer tilt and rocking. Such chairs use knobs at the bottom that are adjusted to give a tilt at a specific angle. However, with time these knobs get loosen, and the tilt function of the chair behaves abnormally.

How To adjust The Knobs?

  • Locate the tilt knobs under the chair
  • Use a control knob to fix and adjust the knob.
  • Turn the knob in the clockwise direction until you get the right tilt and a comfortable feel.
  • It’s better to sit on the chair while fixing the knob. It will help you find out the correct level of adjustment your chair needs.

Broken Or Damaged Castors

Castors are small metal or plastic wheels fixed with the chair’s legs. These castors offer ease of maneuverability. However, these castors can be damaged after prolonged use. Castor can also be broken by rough use and uneven weight distribution. If the front cater is damaged, your chair will lean forward and vice versa. The only solution to deal with this problem is to replace the damaged castor.

If a damaged castor or wheel is causing the chair to lean forward, take the following steps to fix the issue.

  • Turn the chair upside down so that its head touches the ground and legs are in the air.
  • Castors with threaded stems can be unscrewed by twisting them in a clockwise direction. You can use a screwdriver to pull the old rusted castors.
  • Castors with grip stem can be pulled out.
  • It is important to buy a castor of the right size and geometry to replace the damaged castor.
  • Measure the size of the stem and note what kind of castor it is. You can get the replacement at any hardware store by showing the old castor.
  • Carefully screw in the castors. Use a rubber mallet for grip stem castors and a screwdriver for threaded-stem castor.
  • Sit on the chair to check the tilt of the chair. If the tilt of the chair is normal, it means the broken castor was the problem.

Fix The Seat Plate

A loose seat plate is another factor that may cause your office chair to lean forward. The seat plate is a steel frame on which set padding is installed. The seat plate is fixed with the back and legs of the chair via nuts and bolts. With time these nuts and bolts get loose, and the seat tends to move to cause the chair to lean forward or backward.

  • Turn the chair upside down to examine the bolts and nuts of the seat plate.
  • If the seat late is an issue, you will observe one or more loosen nuts and bolts. You might also find some bolts missing and will need a replacement.
  • Another issue you might observe is the damaged or bent seat plate.
  • If the bolts are missing, buy the new nuts and bolts of the same size and geometry from a nearby hardware store.
  • Tighten all the bolts of the seat plate using a screwdriver and carefully examine the full mechanism. Avoid over-tightening nuts, as it may damage the screw sockets.
  • Turn over the chair and sit on it. If the seat plate was an issue, the chair should not lean forward.
  • If the seat plate is damaged, you will need a seat plate replacement. It is recommended to hire a professional for seat replacement.

How To Fix An Office Chair That Lean Sideways?


Damaged or bent castors are the main cause of leaning the chair sideways. Depending upon the position of the castor, the chair either leans towards left or right.

  • Turn the chair upside down and carefully examine the left and right.
  • If you find a damaged castor, you will need a replacement.
  • You can buy a castor of the same size and geometry from the nearby Hardware Store.
  • Replace the damaged Castor according to the instructions provided above.


If the castors are working fine, then you should inspect the legs. The chair leans sideways when the legs on the left or right are not fixed at their place. Check if any bolt is loose or missing.

  • Fasten the loose bolts using a screwdriver. If the bolt is missing, you will need a replacement of the same size and shape.
  • If the chair’s leg is bent or damaged, you need to replace the whole base structure consisting of legs or prongs. It is a costly and complex process, and it is recommended to hire an expert for this job.

Swivel Plate Adjustment

A metal swivel plate, also called a seat plate, can also cause the chair to lean sideways. Turn the chair upside down to see if the plate is fixed in place or not. Carefully observe the bots at the left or right side of the plates. If you find loose nuts, fasten them using a reliable screwdriver. If the bolts are missing, get their replacement.

You may also find the swivel plate bent from one side. It happens due to an uneven weight distribution for a long time. It is recommended to hire an expert to repair or replace the swivel plate.


Why does my office chair lean forward?

The office chair leans forward when the front castor is loose or damaged. Also, if the tilt function of the chair is not working properly, the chair will lean forward or backward. The damaged, bent, or loose seat plate also makes the chair lean forward.

Are office chairs supposed to lean forward?

No office chairs are not supposed to lean forward. Office chairs have a limited tilt function to adjust the posture. However, if the chair leans forward abnormally, it is bad for your health and posture. Therefore it is recommended to get this problem fixed as soon as possible.

What is a tilt lock in a chair?

The tilt lock on the office chair controls the tilt function. It allows users to tilt the chair at the required angle and then fix it at that point. Tilt lock prevents accidental and abnormal tilt in any direction. Tilt lock allows users to sit in the most comfortable posture.

How do I stop my office chair from leaning forward?

You can stop the chair from leaning forward by replacing the damaged parts like seat plates, castor wheels, and legs. If the loose bolts and nuts are causing the chair to lean forward, you need to fasten them. If the nuts and bolts are missing, get a replacement for them.

Why do recliners lean to one side?

The recliner chair uses springs on the left and right sides. These springs provide the recliner flexibility while keeping it fixed in place. Due to uneven weight distribution on the chair, a spring on either side loses tension. This causes the recliner and chair to bend sideways.

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