Welcome to the Troubleshooting page for LIFEFORM® Chairs.  Here, you’ll find comprehensive solutions and step-by-step guides to address easy to remedy issues you may encounter with your chair over the years.  Our resources are designed to ensure your LIFEFORM® Chair continues to provide unparalleled support and durability.  Whether you’re fine-tuning your chair’s fit or seeking quick fixes, you’re in the right place to get your chair back to perfect working condition.


Dirt and debris can become lodged in the caster’s wheel or bearings, impeding its smooth rotation. When a caster doesn’t roll properly, instead of moving linearly, the wheel base might start to rotate around a non-moving caster, causing the base to turn in a manner similar to a propeller. This not only disrupts movement but can also put undue stress on the chair’s structure.

  1. Safety First: Turn the chair on its side, laying it down on a soft surface like a carpet or towel to prevent any damage to the upholstery.
  2. Visual Inspection: Examine each caster for visible signs of debris, hair, or any foreign objects tangled around the wheel axle or wedged in the wheel gap.
  3. Removal: Since your chair’s casters are removable, it might be easier to take them off for a thorough cleaning. Gently pry them away from the base by pulling or using the claw end of a hammer.
  4. Cleaning: 
  5. a) For tangled hair or threads, you can use a pair of tweezers or needle-nose pliers to gently pull them out.
  6. b) Dislodge any dirt or debris using a soft brush. If needed, use a damp cloth (not wet) to wipe away stubborn grime. Make sure to dry it thoroughly afterward.
  7. Lubrication: Once cleaned, apply a small amount of graphite lubricant to the wheel axle, ensuring you don’t overapply.
  8. Reattachment: If you remove the casters, push them back into place firmly, ensuring they are securely fastened.
  9. Test: After cleaning and reassembling, turn the chair upright and roll it around to test the smoothness of the casters. It should glide easily without any hindrance.
  10. Maintenance: Regularly check and clean the casters to prevent buildup of debris. A monthly or bimonthly routine can be helpful, depending on the environment.

Eliminating Noise

It should be understood that all products with moving parts will make noise from time to time. 

If a chair control has not been adjusted or maintained for a long period of time, it can lead to the occurrence of noise for several reasons.  Below are some detailed explanations.

  1. Stiffness:

Description: Over time, chair controls that aren’t adjusted can become stiff.  This stiffness can create a creaking or groaning noise when finally moved.

Reason: The lubrication on the moving parts might dry up or become less effective, leading to increased friction.

  1. Dirt and Debris Accumulation:

Description: Without regular cleaning or movement, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in the joints and mechanisms of the chair control.  When the control is finally adjusted, these particles can cause grinding or squeaking noises.

Reason: The debris interacts with the moving parts, increasing friction and causing noise.

  1. Rust and Corrosion:

Description: Metal components within the chair control can develop rust or corrosion if the chair remains in a fixed position for an extended period, especially in humid environments.  This can result in a rasping noise upon movement.

Reason: The corrosion alters the smooth surfaces of the metal parts, leading to noise when they move against each other.

  1. Component Misalignment:

Description: A long period of inactivity can sometimes lead to the minor misalignment of components.  This misalignment can create noise during the subsequent adjustments.

Reason: The misalignment causes the parts to grind against each other or move irregularly, generating noise.

  1. Material Settling:

Description: The materials of the chair, including plastics, metals, and others, can settle or change shape slightly over time, especially under the constant pressure of seated weight.  This can lead to noises when adjustments are made after a long period.

Reason: The slight deformations or changes in material characteristics impact the smooth operation of controls.

Hydraulic Piston (aka Pneumatic Lift, Gas Lift)

LIFEFORM® chairs’ hydraulic pistons are designed for durability but require occasional lubricant redistribution to maintain smooth operation.  Over time, the lubricant may settle, and the following steps can effectively redistribute it:

  1. While seated, elevate the chair to its highest and then to its lowest position.
  2. Repeat this cycle at least 10 times to help disperse the lubricant.
  3. With the chair at its lowest height, rotate it clockwise for 5 complete turns and then counter-clockwise for another 5 turns while seated.
  4. This simple maintenance ensures the continuous smooth and efficient operation of your LIFEFORM® chair’s hydraulic system.

Preventative Measures and Solutions

Regular Adjustments: 

  1. Make it a habit to adjust the chair controls periodically to keep the mechanisms in motion and prevent stiffness.   
  2. Systematically move through each moving part and repeatedly adjust it.   For example, unlock the tilt lock paddle and rock in the chair for several minutes – this will help move the lubrication along the spring and prevent/stop loud squeaks.   
  3. Gas Lifts will squeak if left idle for extended periods of time.   Lifting and lowering your chair and rotating completely in your chair several times should eliminate these squeaks.


  1. Clean and lubricate the chair controls every 6-12 months to minimize the accumulation of dirt and prevent rust.
  2.  Tighten bolts attaching the seat and the backrest to the mechanism.
  3. Check casters and remove any carpet lint, dust or grime.   Check the bottom of the casters for flat spots.   This can occur on chairs that are rarely moved.   Replace casters if necessary.



  1. Periodically inspect the chair for any signs of wear, rust, or debris accumulation and address issues promptly to maintain optimal performance and noise reduction.
  2. Using carpet casters on a plastic chair mat will generate noise and may cause the plastic of the carpet casters to shred.   Tell tale signs are very small pieces of plastic all around the wheel base.   This can be easily corrected by using soft wheel casters instead.

By understanding these aspects, users can take preventative measures to mitigate the occurrence of noise, ensuring that the chair’s controls operate smoothly and quietly, enhancing the overall user experience.

Ratchet Back Height Adjustment

If you are experiencing difficulty in adjusting your Ratchet Back, ensure you are following all of the steps carefully.   Oftentimes with the larger, heavier Executive models it can take a little more effort to ensure the internal mechanism is resetting.

  • First, to reset the cycle FIRMLY lift the backrest until the maximum height is reached.   The internal mechanism will reset and the back will drop down.
  • FIRMLY press the backrest downwards until you hear a click and the cycle will start over.   Lift the backrest upwards to reach the desired height.   
  • If you don’t hear a click when the backrest is pressed downward at the bottom of the cycle – ensure the seat is not impeding the backrest (if the chair a has Seat Slider) you may need to pull the seat forward away from the back until the backrest is set to the desired location.   Return the seat to its desired position.

Lifeform RATCHET BACK Adjustment

Refreshing Upholstery

Please be aware that items will shift during transport or after prolonged use.  At times the foam can become compressed or appear dented – especially if left in the boxes for extended periods.  Oftentimes allowing the foam to “bounce back” after several hours is all that is needed.  

However a little manipulation of the materials may be warranted.  Upholstery technique is all about moving the materials into position to look their best – much like you would fluff a throw pillow after it’s been sat against – all upholstered furniture may need a little help from time to time to look its best.  This is especially important after shipping.  

Use your hands to smooth the foam and shift upholstery back into position.  For our Upholstered Latitude Headrest, this may mean pulling or tugging on the metal brackets to have them stand straight and hold the headrest pillow evenly.  When in doubt give us a call and we can walk you through the process.  In any case, remember LIFEFORM® Chairs are all made by hand and none will ever exactly match any prior item manufactured. 

Tightening Tilt Tension 

(Specific to models with KTHDSS (Knee Tilt), KTSS+FTS (Knee Tilt), MFSS or MFR (Center Tilt) Mechanisms.   You may need to contact LIFEFORM® with your serial number so we can confirm which Mechanism you have on your chair.)

When tightening the Tilt Tension for your chair, the Tilt Lock Paddle must be in the up or unlocked position.   Otherwise the tension of the spring will not adjust.  

Tilt Lock or Back Angle Paddles Slipping

If your Tilt Lock or Back Angle Paddle is not holding then the Paddles themselves may need to be replaced.   The KTSS+FTS, MFSS and MFR mechanism paddles also feature a “switch” which is located between the mechanism and the paddle itself.   The paddle and/or the switch may need replacing, this is evident – generally – when the paddle is removed and you are able to see some wear on the knuckle (the part of the paddle that meets the mechanism).  Sometimes this wear is not visible and only when the switch is replaced does it rectify the problem.  You may also need to follow the Tilt Lock and Back Angle Paddle Tension Adjustments as noted below.

Tilt Lock and Back Angle Paddle Tension Adjustment 

(Specific to models with KTSS+FTS (Knee Tilt), MFSS or MFR (Center Tilt) Mechanisms.   You may need to contact LIFEFORM®with your serial number so we can confirm which Mechanism you have on your chair.)

If Tilt Lock and Back Angle paddles seem to stop working it is likely because after years of use, these paddles may loosen and start to slip.   The internal clutch plate which should hold the paddles tight may need to be tightened.   

The paddles should have between ¼” to ½” of play.   To test the play, unlock the paddle and jiggle the end of the paddle.   If the paddle has no play or too much play, the clutch plates will slip causing the paddle to snap out of place or fail to lock into place.

To ADD or REMOVE play in the paddle (tighten the clutch), locate the nut securing the paddle bar on the opposite side of the mechanism from the paddle. 

  • Use a ⅝” socket wrench to turn CLOCKWISE in ¼ turn increments.   This will INCREASE the play in the paddle and stop the clutch from slipping.   Be sure to test the paddle’s play after EACH adjustment.   Over tightening has the same effect as an under tightened paddle – causing the paddle’s lock to fail and the clutch plates to slip.   

To REDUCE play in the paddle (loosen the clutch), locate the nut securing the paddle bar on the opposite side of the mechanism.   Use a ⅝” socket wrench to turn COUNTER-CLOCKWISE in ¼ turn increments.   This will decrease the play in the lever and loosen the clutch plates.   Be sure to test the paddle’s play after each adjustment.   An under tightened paddle has the same effect as an over tightened paddle – causing the paddle’s lock to fail and the clutch to slip.

Understanding the Interaction Between Chair Adjustments and Tension Feel

It’s essential to recognize the relationship between different adjustable features of your chair and the perceived tension.  Specifically, the angle of the Independent Back Angle Adjustment and the engagement of the Forward Tilt Features can influence the chair’s tension sensation significantly.

The Leverage Effect

When you open up the angle using the Independent Back Angle Adjustment or activate the Forward Tilt Features, a leverage effect occurs.  This effect is characterized by a decrease in the perceived tension of the chair.  In other words, the chair may feel looser or more flexible, offering a more relaxed seating experience.

Adjusting for Stronger Tension

If your preference leans towards a chair with stronger tension for enhanced support, particularly in the lumbar region, adjustments need to be made.  By ensuring that the Back Angle is in a more upright position, the tension of the chair is intensified.  This position aligns the spine and provides substantial support, minimizing the leverage effect.

Additionally, it’s advisable to disengage the Forward Tilt Feature to maintain a level seat.  A level seat position aids in optimizing the tension feel, providing a firm and supportive seating experience that many users find beneficial for extended periods of sitting.

Balancing Comfort and Support

Balancing these features to your preference ensures personalized comfort while maximizing the ergonomic benefits of the chair.  Every user has unique needs and preferences, and understanding the interplay between these adjustable features allows for a customized seating experience.

Experiment for Optimal Comfort

Feel free to experiment with various combinations of back angles and tilt features.  Pay attention to the body’s response to each setting.  Optimal comfort and support are achieved when the chair’s settings align with your body’s natural posture, reducing strain and promoting overall well-being.


Being aware of how these adjustments affect the chair’s tension is crucial for tailoring it to meet individual comfort and support needs.  By optimizing these settings, users can enjoy a personalized, ergonomic seating experience that fosters productivity, comfort, and health.

It’s always worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the functions of your chair to get the most out of it.  LIFEFORM® provides videos for both Features and Adjustments, visit

Usage & Safety Instructions

We appreciate your purchase of LIFEFORM® Chairs, which are meticulously designed to support optimal posture and comfort for your body.  However, incorrect usage of any chair, even ergonomic ones, can lead to strain on your legs and spine, potentially causing discomfort or pain.  To get the most out of your ergonomic chair, it’s crucial to understand its functions and use it correctly.  Neglecting to do so can minimize the chair’s effectiveness and may even cause injury.  By following these safety tips, you can ensure lasting, safe comfort from your chair:

  1. Correct Seating Position – Always ensure to sit completely in the chair, with your back firmly against the backrest (not applicable to stool style chairs).  Excessive leaning to one side in a chair places uneven stress on its components, leading to premature wear or damage, not to mention potential spine misalignment and other posture related issues. Misuse of this nature can compromise the chair’s structural integrity and might void warranty protections, as chairs are designed for balanced weight distribution.
  1. Avoid Risky Positions – Never sit on the edge of the seat, cross-legged, or with your legs propped up on a desk or other high surface.  Leaning too far in any direction, causing the chair’s casters to lift off the floor due to a shift in body weight, can increase the risk of the chair tipping over.  For safety, always ensure all casters are fully on the floor at all times.  Failure to do so might result in damage to yourself, your chair, surrounding property, others, and potentially void your warranty.
  1. No Standing or Arm Sitting – Refrain from standing on your chair or sitting on the arms of your chair.
  1. Proper Usage of Armrests – The arms of the chair are not designed to support full body weight; avoid using them to lift yourself out of the chair.  Likewise do not use the arm rests to lift or relocate the chair.
  1. Safe usage – Using the chair with more than one person at a time is dangerous.   Never push down on the backrest when a person is reclined in a chair, placing all of your weight on the backrest or move the chair around with someone sitting in it.   Do not place your hand or fingers near the arm swivel mechanics, control mechanism or any other moving parts.   Keep children and pets away from the control mechanism, moving parts and rolling casters of the chair.
  1. Moving Carefully – Be cautious when moving your chair between different floor surfaces.  It’s safer to push the chair while standing than attempting to do so while seated.
  1. Proper Adjustment of Controls – Utilize the chair’s tension control mechanism to accommodate different body weights.  Always ensure the control is correctly adjusted for a smooth, controlled tilt motion.
  1. Regular Maintenance – To maintain the optimal condition of your chair, it’s recommended to check all the parts every 6-12 months to ensure they are tight and in good condition.

Useful Links

Adjustment Instructions

View or Print our written Adjustment Instructions for each model of chair.

Adjustment Videos

Discover the perfect fit for your body and office by visiting our Adjustments Video page.  Learn how to customize your chair for optimal comfort and support. Make your workspace work for you with simple setup tips.

Care and Cleaning

Keep your LIFEFORM® Chair looking and functioning at its best with our Care and Cleaning guide. From routine maintenance to specific cleaning tips, find all the advice you need to preserve the quality of your chair. Ensure longevity and performance with our expert recommendations.

How to Assemble Your Chair

Whether you’re putting together your brand new chair or need to disassemble and reassemble for a move or any reason in between see our instructions here.

Maintenance Instructions

Ensure your LIFEFORM® Chair remains in peak condition with our Maintenance Instructions. Find easy-to-follow steps and tips to care for your chair effectively. Visit our page to extend the life and performance of your investment.

TroubleShooting & Tips

Here, you’ll find comprehensive solutions and step-by-step guides to address certain issues you may encounter with your chair.

Warranty and Service

Explore our Warranty and Service page for detailed information on protecting your LIFEFORM® Chair. Discover the coverage options available and learn how we can assist with any service needs. Ensuring your comfort and satisfaction is our priority.

Warranty Claim Form

For any Warranty Claims you may have, you must complete the form through our website.

For questions or clarification about our warranty or claims process please call our Customer Service Department at 800.661.8568 or email

Warranty Registration 

Register your new chair today for quick and efficient warranty processing and tailored support for your purchase.