Herman Miller Embody Chair in the Test Lab

Herman Miller Embody Chair in the Test Lab

Maxwell Ryan
Dec 18, 2008

Product: Embody Chair
Designer: Jeff Weber and Bill Stumpf
Price: $1600
Rating: Strong Recommend


Who knew you could make a task chair even weirder than the Aeron? We got our Embody chair a month ago and have been road testing it hard ever since. In a nutshell, we like it. It's super comfortable and offers superior lumbar support for long hours in front of the computer. We're all a bit divided about the aesthetics, but the one thing we can all say with certainty is that whenever anyone comes into the room, they always notice our glowing orange chair...

Designed by the late Bill Stumpf, who designed the Aeron and passed away at the start of this design (2006), and Jeff Weber, the Embody has two major design features:

1. It is meant specifically for people who work at computers all day, which means that the backrest gently hugs your spine and keeps you in a more forward upright position throughout the day, while allowing a full range of movement.

2. It is a really green product, which means that it adheres to the McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) Cradle to Cradle protocol and is "95 percent recyclable, has 42 percent recycled content, and contains no PVCs."

In testing around our office, four out of five gave the chair a hearty thumbs up, praising the firm lumbar support, the comfortable shape and the easily adaptive armrests that allow you to put them where you want them. One of us found the chair surprisingly too supportive, as it made her feel like the chair was "spitting her up".

Interestingly, the Embody does hold you differently than other task chairs, and this can be disquieting at first. The high back sticks close to your spine, but doesn't wrap around either side, allowing you to move your arms more freely as you sit up tall. I found that this WAS good for working at the keyboard all day, as it made it hard to slouch. This chair is not about slouchy comfort, it's about performance.

As noted, the aesthetics of the chair was an evergreen conversation starter, and the price, at $1600, created sticker shock, but there was no doubt that everyone would have chosen this chair over the Aeron if the prices were equal.

>> Herman Miller Embody Link
>> Embody Chair Post at AT Chicago

*Our Ratings:

Strong Recommend
Weak Recommend

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