If your work is not smart you can do something to improve it. For months now, many people have been forced to carve out space at home where they can continue to work as in the office, but it’s not easy: we have already indicated some general rules, then everyone finds the solution that best suits their time, space and individual needs. And sometimes the most interesting inspirations come from where we would least expect. Let’s take the choice of the chair: there are office models of all prices and all shapes, of course, but there are also thousands of professional gamers who use special seats, which until yesterday were seen only on Twitch and with the pandemic have become popular outside. They’re usually flashy in color and design, a bit like Formula One car seats, and it’s hard to imagine them anywhere other than a teenager’s room. So a good solution might be Herman Miller’s Embody, designed in conjunction with Logitech, which we tested for a few months. The first is a very famous company in the field of office furniture, which has been producing pieces that have entered design history for decades, such as the Aeron chair. The second is a lively company born in Switzerland and then became multinational, known especially for computer peripherals and for the – more recent – section dedicated to gamers.
A modern classic
Embody exists since 2008, and was born just as an ergonomic chair designed for those who spend a lot of time in front of a computer. It has an original design, with a rather wide seat and narrow backrest, and a series of adjustments that make it extremely customizable. However, the version designed with Logitech introduces two significant differences: an extra layer of padding on the seat, and the back of the backrest and a series of details in deep blue (but an all-black version has also been released very recently). “Logitech has brought its innovation in gaming technology and deep understanding of gamers’ needs,” reads Herman Miller’s website. In the most immersive moments of the game, for example, most players sit forward in the chair: that’s why the seat of the new Embody is multi-layered: two of springs, a middle one, a layer of foam and finally the outer fabric.
No faux leather, no contrasting stitching, just a tone-on-tone printed “G”: the seat and back are covered by a light layer of memory foam covered by the black breathable fabric. The base and frame are made of aluminum and finished with a solid black embossed coating. In general lines, the design is unchanged from the standard model, but the resulting hybrid may be too understated for a gamer and perhaps a bit too flashy for a standard office, or home. In no way can it be called luxurious: as much as the care for the materials is extreme and the precision of the workmanship above suspicion, the Embody does not at all show its belonging to the high end of office seating (and the very high end of chairs for gamers).
Typically, gaming chairs have solid metal-framed backs that you can recline. In contrast, the Embody has a flexible backrest that moves in sync with the body, a kind of human-like spine, with ribs that flex or contract following the movement of the back. The goal is to support a healthy sitting posture, regardless of how you sit. “The user notices Pixelated Support the moment they sit down: the feeling of floating while maintaining perfect balance at all times,” the company explains. And it’s true, the back support is natural and safe, and you can easily find a position that is simultaneously relaxed but correct. And that remains so even if you move. This is thanks to what the company calls BackFit: turning a knob on the right side increases or decreases the curvature in the thoracic region of the spine, thereby also adjusting the lumbar support.
The best way to describe this feeling is that you don’t realize you’re sitting; even after working and playing for a long time, you don’t feel the need to get up for a while because you’re uncomfortable. The Embody is flexible enough to conform to your body and feel custom-designed, but not so flexible that you feel like you’re sinking – it benefits your mental focus, which feels better. The small size of the backrest, then, facilitates lateral movement and torsion, which thus contributes to making it less static and a more bearable sitting position even if prolonged over time.
With the buttons under the armrests, you can adjust the height of the armrests, or move them inwards or outwards, but you cannot change their angle. The depth of the seat is also adjustable (from 381 to 457 mm): two handles near the front of the chair allow you to extend the seat, thus providing the right support for the lower legs. You can shorten the seat by simply pushing it back, although a little force is needed. The height, on the other hand, can vary from 432 to 539 mm.
On the back, to the left of the chair, there is a lever that serves to limit the inclination of the backrest with four possible adjustments: at the minimum, the oscillation is very low, at the maximum level you push back quite a lot, but not so much to turn the Embody into a lounge chair where you can relax. Very good also the wheels, which run quietly and rotate smoothly, too bad they do not have a brake.
“Together with Logitech G, we studied both Pro Players and Gamers, hardcore and casual, to see how we can improve their performance and help them take care of their bodies while they play. We found that gamers take a variety of postures in chairs that negatively impact their performance and could damage their health over time,” said Tim Straker, Chief Marketing Officer at Herman Miller. Among Logitech’s contributions to the Gamer Embody is the addition of a cooling foam with copper particles in the seat to keep you from getting hot while playing. Given the season, we can’t say we’ve tried it thoroughly, but we feel the result is in line with expectations. We thought the stretch polyester upholstery, called Sync fabric, was very good, tested for durability, strength, colorfastness, stain resistance, and ability to not catch fire (which we didn’t test though). The Embody is made from 95% recyclable components and manufactured in the US in a facility powered by 100% renewable energy.
In the end
Is everything perfect? No: the Embody, especially in the Logitech version, has a line that may seem too flashy to some; it lacks a headrest; it is designed for people of standard build and may not be the ideal choice for those over six feet. Then there’s the price, the sorest note of all: it’s one of the most expensive models from Herman Miller, which certainly can’t be called an entry-level company, and in fact costs 1500 dollars. On the other hand, the warranty offered by the company is remarkable, reaching a good 12 years.
In addition to the seat there are also three desks (Motia, Ratio and Nevi) and support for monitors and laptops (Ollin Gaming Monitor Arm) that should allow gamers to maintain a healthier posture in long gaming sessions. But which are also very suitable for working without compromising back health.