So what is the first thing you do after sitting in a chair? Most people will rest their elbows on the arm rest of chair. The Embody Gaming Chair arms have 9 different height positions which is very nice. The arm rest are also fairly large which gives us a nice area to rest our arms. The ‘entire’ arm, including the plastic holding the arm rest in place, can be moved inward or outward for the arm width adjustments. I find this design to be a bit weird, but perhaps there are some people out there than can use this feature. There are 4 different arm width positions that you can use, but I’m sure most people will ignore this feature and use the arms\arm rest in the “typical” chair fashion (at the default position). For a chair that cost $1,795.00 you would expect the padding on the arms to be top notch and made of premium quality, unfortunately, you would be sadly mistaken. The Embody Gaming Chair arm padding feels similar to that of a $300.00 - $400.00 chair or perhaps cheaper. There are other chairs with similar pricing or cheaper pricing with softer arm padding that feels much better than what we get on the Embody, the Steelcase Leap V2 comes to mind and had great padding. I have seen some people spend even more money on the chair for cushions just so that they can rest their arms comfortably on the Embody. You cannot pivot the arms and there is no depth control or in other words the arms don’t move forward, backwards or inward, unless you move the ‘entire arm’ inward\outward as explained earlier and that includea the plastic holding the arms up. This is a huge step backwards that even $150 - $250 chairs offer. This can be a deal breaker for some purchasers. Now to my personal experience, I felt as if I had to re-train my left and right arm when using my computer. Since the arms cannot be positioned to support my arm\elbow in a way that I like to use my PC, I felt as if I had to keep the chair straight at all times when using my computer mouse. If you turn the chair too far to the left or the right your elbow might lose some or all of its arm rest support. Why a nearly $2,000 chair doesn’t support pivoting or depth control, which is a simple standard feature, is beyond me.
Now this is one of the most important parts of the chair, the rear that supports your thoracic, pelvic & sacral region. A great chair should be able to support your back properly for long periods of time. Of course you should always stand stretch and walk everyone once in a while as well. The Embody major feature is its ‘BackFit’ knob. Since everyone has a different spine curvature the Embody allows you to align the rear of the seat to match the curvature of your spine accurately. This feature will be a hit or a miss with some people, but it’s nice to have control over how different areas of the back are supported. The BackFit adjusts both the upper and lower back regions at the same time. This can be an issue for those who want more control over the BackFit mechanism. Suppose you want to only adjust the lower-back region, but not the upper back region vice-versa, well you can’t do that. You have to adjust them both at the same time nearly perfectly to get the max comfort. This can take a long time to get adjusted properly. When you first sit in the Embody it feels great, but you must adjust it. The chair gives you a lot of freedom to move freely. The back of the chair flexes as well and you have a wide range of motion since you won’t have to worry about the chair hitting the back of your arms or your elbow. This can be great for musicians recording on their PC. The HM Embody is the first chair I have ever sat in which came with a break in period. Typically you will just sit in a chair and it feels comfortable or uncomfortable right away. After a few moments of adjusting the chair you can get the chair tuned to your sitting style rather quickly. Well the Embody takes this to an entirely different level. It could take days, weeks and possibly longer than that to get the chair adjusted just right. This chair is one of the most frustrating chairs I have ever had to deal with in my entire life. The first thing you will notice is that the chair slightly reclines, but you can counter this with the excellent tilt tension knob. The tilt tension knob was very nice from my experience and it was simple to get the tension just right. The Embody chair was created to support the reclining position because Herman Miller Research and Development team over the years determined that this was the healthiest posture for computer users. Being in a reclined position puts less pressure on your spine than if you were sitting upright and HM believes that this will keep your head aligned properly which requires no headrest when reclining. Well some of us need to sit upright for various reasons, but reclining is nice. What is not nice is being forced to recline in order to enjoy the chair. If you try to adjust the ‘BackFit’ knob to “force” your back into an upright position the top of the chair will dig in your upper back near the shoulder area (more on this in the ‘Rear Seat Padding’ on the next page). So although it is possible to sit upright without reclining it will not be the most comfortable. This chair is absolutely relentless when it comes to correct posture. Unless you sit correctly nearly 100% if the time, this chair will be unforgiving to your back.