The Herman Miller Embody Chair was designed to make you comfortable, healthy and productive at work. To accomplish these goals, the inventors, engineers, and artists who worked on the Embody Chair spent countless hours researching and applying several areas of ergonomic science. One of the most important, for the Embody, was the ergonomic science of pressure distribution.

Pressure distribution is one of the most ignored ergonomic sciences, with most chair designers satisfied with creating freedom of movement, comfortable surfaces, and back support. But the designers of the Embody Chair knew how important it was to make sure the Embody was pressure neutral. Why? Because the Embody Chair was made to work well for people of all shapes and sizes. 

Herman Miller Embody Chair Back

While it’s true the pressure distribution follows a similar pattern no matter what the weight or build of the user, the critical difference is the intensity of the pressure, which can vary wildly from one person to another. Many chairs ignore this and build a model that will work for the average person. But the designers of the Embody Chair used the most up-to-date technologies to ensure they built an inclusive chair.

According to the makers of the Embody Chair, “A chair should be topographically neutral. It should conform equally well to all body shapes, sizes, and contours without applying circulation-restricting pressure anywhere.” That’s a tough challenge, but the Embody Chair has met those criteria. How?

By tirelessly mapping hundreds of differently contoured chairs sat in by hundreds of differently contoured people, and fine-tuning the Embody Chair to deal with every one of them. The secret, they found, was in controlling the area of distribution, and building the Embody Chair to mold and conform to whomever sits in it.

Area of Distribution
The Embody Chair was committed to spreading the pressure put on the backrest of the chair to a wider area. After several design innovations, the designers of the Embody Chair were able to transfer much of the pressure distribution from the seat of the chair to the backrest. This decreased the pressure on the gluteus maximus, the sciatic nerves, and the heads of the femur bones. The Embody Chair is often described as the first health-positive chair, and this is just one reason why.

Beyond distributing pressure points into the backing of the chair, the Embody Chair also comes outfitted with a flexible, moldable material that contours to and supports all forms, shapes, and weights. This aids in distributing pressure from the base of the spine, an area that can really take a beating while sitting for long periods of time. One of the consultants used during the design of the Herman Miller Embody Chair was Dr. Gunnar Andersson, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal injury, as well as the chairman of orthopedics at Rush Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Andersson warned of one of the seemingly innocuous dangers of workplace sitting that the Embody Chair was built to combat: sitting on your wallet. “The wallet, when you sit, (is) pushing right on the sciatic nerve … you’re sitting off center, with one side higher than the other, so to sit up straight you have to curve your spine. This puts an uneven load on the sacroiliac joints and on the lower back.” There are a dozen tiny hazards in the modern workplace, and the Embody Chair was built to help combat them.

Most seating discomfort in the workplace is caused by stress on the ischial tuberosities, or the “sitting bones.” These are the bones located in the pelvic region, as well as the soft tissue surrounding that region. The longer these bones and tissues are exposed to pressure, the more static pressure load is exerted upon them. The Embody is engineered to relieve this pressure by decreasing the intensity of it and spreading the load out along the surface of the seat.

Contoured Surfacing

Herman Miller Embody Chair Back

The back of the Embody Chair is supported by a spine that stretches from the top of the back to the seat. This spine reacts to your body’s weight much like your own, human spine: it twists and moves to support your weight distribution. The Embody Chair was designed to intuitively make you comfortable. The Embody Chair can read you, and the advanced spine of the chair uses that information to make sure you’re as comfortable and supported as possible. The front and top of the back and seat of the Embody Chair are covered in a revolutionary textile pioneered by Susan Lyons. The covering reacts to the user and the environment like skin: it’s breathable, flexible, stretchable, and soft. The Embody Chair mirrors the comfort-positive features of the human form to make the user experience as natural and comfortable as possible.

The Herman Miller Embody Chair was designed with the problems of the modern workplace in mind. One of the most overlooked, and yet most persistent, is the issue of pressure distribution. The Embody has solved the problem with groundbreaking design, technological innovation, and brilliant engineering. Buy an Embody today, and see for yourself.

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