How do gas lift chairs work?

Updated March 23, 2017

A gas lift chair has springs that consist of cylinders as well as pistons that slide in and out of them. The cylinders contain pressurised nitrogen and oil, according to

How Gas Springs Work

Pushing the down lever of the chair forces the piston into the cylinder, compressing the gas and lowering the seat. Pushing the up lever pulls out the piston, allowing the compressed nitrogen to expand, thus raising the seat.


The gas spring is designed to lift a particular load at a constant speed. In addition, the oil in the spring smooths its movement. Gas springs are simple, durable, reliable and do not require maintenance. They are also smaller than metal springs.

Additional Facts

Gas springs come in different designs and configurations. Vertically mounted gas springs work more efficiently and are less likely to collapse at full extension. Tight seals around the piston prevent the nitrogen and oil from escaping.

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About the Author

Lexa W. Lee is a New Orleans-based writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has contributed to "Central Nervous System News" and the "Journal of Naturopathic Medicine," as well as several online publications. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Reed College, a naturopathic medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and served as a postdoctoral researcher in immunology.