Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit on a throne?
Today’s modern information workers don’t sit on gilded chairs. They spend hours, days, and weeks of their lives in office chairs — you know, common adjustable-height chairs with wheels.
Three years ago, I decided I wanted a top-of-the-line chair. A throne. At the time, I frequently worked from home. My thinking went, if I was going to be doing 7 or 8 hours in front of a computer on a regular basis, I could at least be comfortable.
So after digging into my savings, waiting for a good sale, and with a lot of trepidation, I bought Herman Miller’s Embody chair. It’s the most expensive office chair Herman Miller makes.
This chair has named designers and a philosophy. Herman Miller’s website says that the Embody was designed to solve “the lack of physical harmony between people and their technology.”
It also currently costs US$1,429 (A$1862.97) on Amazon right now and US$1,230 (A$1603.54) on Herman Miller’s site — and that’s before shipping and assembly.
So if I had to do it again, would I buy the Embody? Read on …
The first thing that sticks out is that the Herman Miller Embody is really heavy. Herman Miller doesn't publish its weight, but it's substantial -- I'd guess maybe as much as 50 pounds. You wouldn't want to pick it up.
'The interlocking, flexing support structures that branch off from the main part of the spine provide incredible, personalised comfort and support. Not only that, but they are a work of sculptural art in and of themselves.'
It certainly is pretty, and I felt complete back support. But honestly, I think I get similar back support from my office chair at work, which is way more conventional -- and less expensive.
I have no idea why it is pixelated, but it is an amazing sitting surface. Simultaneously supporting yet cushioning, I would sleep on a bed made out of my chair. Here's a closeup of the underside.
My cat loves the 'pixelated support' as well and he frequently seeks out the chair when I'm not home to turn it into a $1,000+ cat bed.
One thing you have to understand about the Embody, and basically all high-end chairs, is that getting it into your office or home is only the first step. Then you have to dial in the ergonomics.
Do it correctly, and Herman Miller promises less pressure distribution on your joints and where your butt hits the seat.
There are a lot of guides online. Basically, more expensive chairs have more dials for making sure the chair is properly calibrated to your body. One key to a properly calibrated chair? Your feet should be completely flat on the floor.
The one downside, though, is that if you really dial your chair to your specifications, it won't be ergonomically right for your roommates or your partner -- making it a really expensive chair for one.
I have a few complaints. First, the chair's armrests have worn down pretty quickly. I'm sure there is some way to get the chair refurbished or fixed up but it's still disappointing. It's a very expensive chair and it's starting to look shabby with normal use after 3 years.
One option is Herman Miller's less expensive and more iconic Aeron chair, which is about $800. Mark Zuckerberg is a fan, and a throne for the Facebook CEO is probably good enough for me.
Another premium option is the Steelcase Gesture, which costs $900 from Amazon, and has a similar amount of customizability.
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