Can Gaming Chairs Explode?

Office chairs blow up? It sounds like something out of a movie?

If so, how many times have these chairs turned into an unwanted ejection seat? We did the research and discovered the answer will make you think twice before sitting.


Can (Office or Gaming) Swivel Chairs Explode?

Why Do Swivel These types of Chairs Explode?

 Pneumatic Cylinders = Projectile Missals?

How To Avoid My Chair From Ka-Boom-Boom?

How Can Office Chairs Explode?

This question is as old as swivel chairs themselves…

In certain instances, the pressurized gas pneumatic cylinder used to modify the height of an office chair has been known to malfunction. Although this incident is rare, there have been cases of exploding office and gaming swivel chairs that have led to serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

We found three high-profile cases that have happened over the past decade.

  • In 2013, a 24-year-old woman from Fujian in China bought an office chair equipped with an air pressurized pneumatic cylinder which unexpectedly exploded and left her critically injured.

  • In 2008, a 65-year-old man had a 150mm steel rod shoot out of his chair and critically wounded his back and both arms.

  • In 2009, a 14-year-old boy from Shandong Province in China had a faulty gas cylinder that resulted in death.

I won’t go into the specifics of each occurrence, but you can imagine how uncomfortable it would be to be sitting on something that shoots out suddenly.


So Why do Office chairs explode?

The introduction of much new gaming and office chair companies has caused companies to compete on price. Cheaper chairs may not have the same quality assurance measures as more established chair manufacturers.

These potential catastrophes are derived from inadequately constructed pneumatic cylinders that rely on air instead of the ordinary pressurized nitrogen gas. Looking at these scary worst-case scenarios, could you be convinced that manual adjustable chairs are the best way to sit? 

A few sitters may find this true, but the majority of us relish the comfort of easy and precise height changes that make the gamble worthwhile.

What Are Pneumatic Cylinders Role?


Gaming, Ergonomic, Or Traditional – They all require it to lift their seats.

A pneumatic height change system enables you to customize the height of every kind of swivel chair with just a push of a button.

  • They’re mostly found just below the base of the chair and mostly hidden by plastic cylinders.

How Gas-Pressure Works In Office Chairs

What exactly enables a chair to adjust their height and lift your heavy seat?

A pneumatic system is essentially made up of springs coiled together with compressed nitrogen gas. The force generated by the pressure through a pneumatic-cylinder is enough to raise the chair. These parts also need to be lubricated to keep everything running smoothly.

A Basic Walk-through Of The Inner Workings of Pneumatic Cylinders 
  1. The pneumatic cylinder is filled with nitrogen gas. When the adjustable lever is depressed, the spring coils are triggered.

  2. The energy that is released creates a lot of heat due to the friction, so lubrication is added to prevent it from getting too hot.

  3. The lever gives the pressurized space a gentle push, which allows the user to adjust the seat to their desired height.

What Can I Do To Avoid Exploding My Office Chair?

What Can I Do To Avoid Exploding My Office Chair? Apart from not sitting in them, here are five solutions to the Ka-Boom-Boom problem. To make it clear, this issue is rare compared to the amount of people who use pneumatic-powered swivel chairs every day. Gas cylinders must meet rigorous safety standards in most countries. 

If the fear of this unpleasant situation remains in the back of your mind, recall:

  1. Read the specs of the chair before clicking to ship.

  2. Purchase from trusted brands, don’t cheap out on a crappy chair.

  3. NEVER jump to sit on a fully raised chair.

  4. NEVER tinker with the pneumatic system and work on it yourself.

  5. Be nice to your chair. Avoid throwing it around like a rag doll.

Need help to figure out how to switch out an old pneumatic cylinder with a new one? We put together a resource page dealing with 15 common swivel chair problems and their solutions.


| ChairPickr

Related Questions

Helpful Info About Office Chairs & Some F.A.Q. Answered

Yes, it can, but it’s less likely to come from an explosion and more likely from living an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle. An even riskier seat we often take is driving a car. Fortunately, we have comfortable commuting tips to depend on.

Not only is time spent sitting an investment, our overall well-being should be taken into account when purchasing something used on a regular basis. 

    • They have a gaudy and flashy style, like a race car seat. The curvature of these seats serves as an inspiration for their designing of racing seats meant to keep drivers in position during a race.

    Gaming chairs that choose ergonomics over aesthetics make for a better sitting experience.


“Woman Badly Injured by Exploding Computer Chair.” AsiaOne, 9 Oct. 2013,“Office Chair Explosion.Flv.”

“Chair Exploding” YouTube, 10 Dec. 2009,

hightideblue. “How to Replace an Office Swivel Chair’s Gas Cylinder.” YouTube, 16 Feb. 2013,

Frucci, Adam. “Boy Killed Anally When Office Chair Explodes.” Gizmodo, 20 Feb. 2009,



ChairPickr | "Writer"

Hello, My name is Claude and I enjoy sitting comfortable. Research into what separates the good from the bad in the matter of chairs started when I made a new year’s resolution to have better posture.

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