Improve Your Office Ergonomics

How Caster Wheels Can Improve Your Office Ergonomics

Office chairs have advanced far beyond what they originally looked like, now with the comfort and safety of the user more in mind. Traditional office chairs didn’t feature many of the ergonomic benefits found in modern swivel chairs today, even down to the intricate parts that make up this unique piece of furniture.

The caster wheels of an office chair are two separate entities that come together at the base of the chair. These wheels allow an ergonomic chair to roll around and move freely so that the user has a greater range of motion from their work desk.

Two Wheel Caster Wheels

When these wheels become stuck or broken, many people assume they should throw the entire chair out and start again. However, there are now quality chair casters and wheels available for replacement which can add years of life to your chair and improve its strength and ability enormously.

Office chairs are just one of the ways that ergonomic office furniture has improved, and with simple adjustments to standard designs the modern home office or work environment is now able to offer a healthier, more comfortable, and more productive place for people to perform their job.

What are Caster Wheels?

A caster is essentially another word for the housing that includes the wheel, which allows certain objects to move around and roll. Caster wheels are a popular choice for office chairs as they give the user free range of motion and the ability to twist and turn without putting a strain on the neck.

The Office Oasis Casters Wheels on Floor

The caster is the special part which attaches this wheel to the furniture, and the wheel is the actual mechanism which rolls. However, the term castor wheel is commonly used to describe the device as a whole and when discussing office furniture and chairs, these are usually replaced at the same time.

Caster wheels may need replacing from time to time if they’re causing issues for the mobility of your office chair, or if there’s another problem. Some caster wheels may cause excessive noise or even damage the ground beneath them, meaning some people are forced to use matting or sheeting in between their chair and the office floor.

Replacing the caster wheels of a swivel chair is a common procedure and one that can improve the function of your chair and add years of life to the product. Office chair casters should be replaced at the first sign of disturbance or fault and substituted with a quality product that’s been built to defeat all of these typical problems.

The Different Types of Casters

When discussing casters for furniture, such as the office chair, there are generally two popular types. Depending on the chair or piece of furniture used, there may be a need to implement one of either style.

Blue Rigid Caster Wheel

Rigid caster wheels are those which move only back and forward. They’re generally made from a one piece construction so they’re easier to install, but there is limited motion with them. Rigid casters are usually stronger than swivel, but the swivel does have other advantages.

Swivel casters are able to move 360 degrees, meaning they’re able to travel any way you wish and can rotate instead of just roll. There are many subcategories within the swivel range, but it’s generally the most popular for furniture as it gives the user much greater freedom.

Casters come in all different shapes and sizes, including ball casters, dual casters, and hooded casters, but for a replacement caster to put on your ergonomic office chair you should aim to purchase a universal style which has been made to fit many models.

Materials Commonly Used for Caster Wheels

The materials used commonly for caster wheels depend on the style of furniture, its intended use, and the quality of construction. There are generally three main types of furniture wheels used with office chair casters, and each varies from the last in their benefits.

Black Rubber Cast Wheel
  • Rubber - These wheels are generally very soft, and most ideal for settings such as hospitals and other tiled areas. They make little to no sound and decrease vibration, so they’re more suited to mobile beds and other devices.
  • Metal - Metal wheels for casters have very high shock resistance so they’re great for heavy duty use, however, due to the material they will damage most floor surfaces quite easily. Metal wheels are ideal for industrial settings and not the office workplace.
  • Polyurethane - The clear choice for office chair wheels, polyurethane is a soft plastic that won’t make noise, damage the floor, or become stuck and rigid as other materials can. They can also withstand oil, grease, and water, so they’re extremely versatile in the environment they suit.

How to Find Quality Caster Wheels

Even in the best office chairs, you may still find that the caster wheels are less than perfect. Most chairs are designed with comfort in mind, so focus mainly on the seat and back support to create a comfortable chair for the user.

Rollerblade Office Chair Wheels

However, the caster wheels are just as important in these ergonomic chairs as they give the user the freedom to move around and reduce strain on their neck and back. For this reason, many people prefer to replace the standard caster wheels of their office chair with a higher quality product, whether they’re damaged or not.

For an office setting, the best material to use is a polyurethane as it has far more benefits for the workplace or home. Secondly, a product that can be easily replaced or installed is ideal so look for something without complicated parts or instructions.

Finally, the caster itself should be made from high-grade steel and precision ball bearings so it’s guaranteed a long life and whisper-quiet rolling ability. Once you’ve upgraded to a higher quality wheel and steel casters, you’ll feel the instant effects of this ergonomic adjustment.

The Benefits of Using Quality Caster Wheels

Choosing to substitute your standard caster wheels for a superior product, or replacing damaged and faulty ones for heavy duty caster wheels you’ll be getting a whole range of benefits that can be felt instantly and for the life of your office chair.

Man Sitting in Office Chair
  • Long life - Many people’s first reaction to broken wheels on an office chair is to throw it out and buy a completely new one. However, just by replacing the caster wheels with quality ones you’re able to give new life to your chair and ensure that the wheels last longer than the rest of the chair. You can even transfer them over when it’s time to upgrade to a better seat.
  • Suitable for all conditions - Using a polyurethane caster wheel means you can use your office chair anywhere. Whether you work in a standard office with carpet or wooden floors, or somewhere industrial where there might be oil stains or leaks on the ground, this soft plastic will continue to work at its best.
  • Limits noise - ​If your chair is squeaking as your move around, the wheels are likely the problem. Using a soft plastic wheel can reduce noise, so they’re perfect for people working in small offices or at home.
  • No damage to floor - Although swivel chairs can be handy, they often do serious damage to carpets and hardwood floors. Using polyurethane wheel casters means there’s no scratching or dents on the surface so you won’t have to use plastic sheeting to prevent damage. You’ll also notice they move far easier on all kinds of surfaces too.
  • Weight load - Most swivel chairs come with a weight limit that can restrict some larger sizes from using them. Attaching a set of quality wheel casters to your chair can increase the weight load up to around 650lbs so they’re ideal for any size.
  • Safety - Not only is a swivel chair with caster wheels the best ergonomic choice you can make for your back and neck health, but locking casters can also be purchased to prevent your chair from rolling away. These casters are ideal for disabled or injured users specifically.

Which Chair Styles Can Benefit From Quality Caster Wheels?

Having a good set of caster wheels on your chair isn’t just for those at the home office or behind a desk, as there is a whole range of users who could benefit from a quality product.

Two Office Chairs
  • Boardrooms – swivel chairs are great for boardrooms, giving everyone a quiet and comfortable seat for meetings. Using quality caster wheels also limits the noise and impact of movement, so they’re great for people coming in and out.
  • Dental and medical chairs – as dentists move swiftly in all directions during an appointment, caster wheels can make this smooth and noise free for the patient’s sake.
  • Salons and barbers – having quality casters on a salon chair can reduce the amount of sticking to the floor, and less hair being caught in the wheel. They’re also noise-free so they create a calmer atmosphere for clients.
  • Video gamers – many gamers enjoy using a swivel chair for their hobby, and one with quality wheels gives them a better range of movement as they play.
  • Industrial workshops – using polyurethane wheels in a workshop setting is ideal as they’re able to run across oils and other spills without a hassle.

How to Replace Caster Wheels

If you find your wheel casters need replacing due to damage or fault, or you simply want to upgrade to a better product which allows more mobility and comfort, there are a few easy steps to getting the job done.

1. Begin by turning the chair upside down and placing it on your desk so you can access it without it rolling away.

2. If you believe there’s something stuck in your caster wheel which is preventing rolling, you can try to remove with a sharp knife before attempting to replace the wheels altogether.

3. To replace the wheels, you’ll need to first remove the caster. Simply pull firmly on the caster to remove it, keeping in mind you may need to use pliers if it’s tough. If you’re unable to remove it, a screwdriver can help to pry it loose.

4. Push the new caster into the socket and push it firmly so it locks into place. If it’s unable to lock securely, you can knock it gently with a hammer provided you’ve covered the surface first with a towel or soft material.

5. If you’re only replacing one caster, be sure to oil the other wheels so that they match the smoothness of this new one. Otherwise, for best results you should replace all at the same time.

Some replacement caster wheels may have their own set of instructions for installation, so always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines before attempting to replace the wheels. With a few simple tools, though, this job should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

Why our Office Chairs are so Important

Considering most of us spend around 35 hours a week sitting at our desks, the importance of a good office chair is obvious. While the caster wheels have a huge impact on the ergonomics of our seat, there are other things to consider too.

Man in Office Resting Feet on Desk Feet Rest

While owning an ergonomic chair is great, the other half of the battle is adjusting it so that it meets your personal physical needs. Many people purchase the chair and then assume their work is done, causing to more workplace injury and back stress.

Your chair should be set up so that your elbows can rest comfortably on the desk at a 90-degree angle, so you’ll need to adjust the height accordingly. Have your seat set so that you can put a few finger’s width in between the edge of the chair and your thigh, and if it’s too tight you may need to consider a footrest.

Finally, your backside should be pushed against the very back of the chair so that your lower back and lumbar are supported. Most chairs have an additional cushion that allows your back to push out slightly to prevent slumping.

With these few simple adjustments, you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your ergonomic chair. After a short amount of time, the differences in your comfort and productivity levels will be amazing.

The Benefits of Using a Mobile Office Chair

When considering an ergonomic office setup, there’s no denying that a swivel chair is the way to go. Having quality office chair casters on your furniture gives you a number of benefits that just can’t be found with standard chairs.

Modern Mobile Office Chair
  • Greater reach - Most offices have been set up to have the important tools and other furniture within just a few feet of our desk. Using a computer chair with ball casters means you can simply roll over or twist to the item you need, without having to get up and down from your seat all day.
  • Conversing with others - For offices with more than one worker, swivel chairs are a great way to promote conversation and reduce the amount of time spent on the phone or messaging system. Workers are able to roll over to another desk or to the front reception counter to speak with visitors, reducing time spent and improving face-to-face communications.
  • Comfort - Ergonomic chairs have almost always been designed with comfort in mind, making these swivel chairs ideal for long use. As many office workers spend around 7 to 8 hours a day in their seats, the comfort of these chairs is a major benefit.
  • Ergonomics - Finally, but most importantly, computer chairs are ergonomic meaning they’ve been designed to improve efficiency and comfort in the workplace. Caster wheel chairs can reduce back and neck pain, decrease exertion, and improve productivity.

The Importance of Ergonomics

So, why is ergonomics so important in the workplace? Whether you work from home in a personal environment or share an office space with others, ergonomics is an essential factor in how comfortably and safely you work each day.

Man Holding for Lower Back

As ergonomic disorders make up over half of the injuries received in the US workplace, the need for quality products such as heavy duty casters and computer screen risers has never been more evident.

These disorders often occur while we don’t even know it, so unlike other injuries they can build up over time from things such as neck strain, poor posture, and excessive reaching, all common occurrences with a standard office chair.

As studies into ergonomics progress, we learn new ways to support our physical needs at work by making small adjustments to the office furniture and tools that we use today. Replacement caster wheels are just one way you can improve the ergonomic quality of your workspace without needing to invest too much time or money into the solution.

Setting up an Ergonomic Workspace

In addition to a quality set of caster wheels and an ergonomic chair, there are a few other ways you can improve the ergonomics in your workspace. These are crucial whether you work alone at home or with others in a shared environment, and they will greatly improve your overall health and productivity in an instant.

Woman in Ergonomic Workspace
  • Screen riser - A screen riser is the best way to ensure your work is kept at a correct angle and position from your view, so you can prevent straining your eyes and neck. Whether you work with a laptop or PC, these tools are invaluable to workplace ergonomics and promote good posture as well as eye health.
  • Foot rest - If you’re having problems achieving the correct angles from your desk chair and table, a foot rest can be a savior. Particularly useful for shorter people, a foot rest will allow your feet to sit at a 90-degree angle as intended to take pressure off your lower back and improve circulation.
  • Desk organizer - A desk organizer may not seem important at first, but having a clutter-free workspace is essential to your organization and productivity. Whether you use something to arrange your filing or keep your stationery in the one space, a desk organizer can vastly improve your efficiency.
  • Phone holder - As many office workers spend their day on the phone and are unable to use a speaker system, the strain from holding the phone to their ear with their shoulder can cause a lot of damage. A phone holder acts as a cushion between the two areas to give you a hands-free experience without bothering any of your colleagues.

When utilized correctly, these few items can have a dramatic impact on your workplace safety and efficiency. You can give yourself the edge by having an ergonomic space so less of your time is spent on achieving comfort and more is spent on delivering strong work.

How Caster Wheels can Improve Your Work

After years of use, it’s common for our office chairs to begin showing signs of wear and tear. Swivel chairs in particular come across many issues to do with their wheels, such as hair and other particles becoming stuck in the casters or one or more wheels falling off completely.

The Office Oasis Chair Wheels

If your swivel chair moves too easily, you’ll spend a lot of energy trying to keep it still, and if it doesn’t move at all you’ll become fatigued just trying to perform a simple movement. For this reason, the caster wheels are one of the most important elements to your office’s ergonomics.

By replacing the caster wheels of your office chair, whether it’s faulty or not, you can enjoy the number of benefits discussed here. Considering such a simple solution can have such dramatic effects on your productivity and office environment, it’s one of the simplest ergonomic purchases you can make.

With the right ergonomic supplies, your quality of work is set to improve. Just by increasing your comfort levels a little you may find you’re given the push to go the extra mile at work, and achieve things you never thought possible.

The Office Oasis delivers simply reliable products for your office. Let us help you outfit your office today. Because buying the right office equipment can be challenging, here at The Office Oasis, we offer top of the line home office products and business office furniture solutions.

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