My absurdly nice new office chair

If you had told me 5 years ago or, to be honest, even 1 year ago, that I’d find myself paying over $1K for a chair, I would have laughed in your face. That would have been the most absurd thing I could have imagined. Well, here we are, you sat there reading, and me sat in my $1K office chair writing this blog. How did we get here?


It all started, really, with the first full day I spent in this office, almost 2 years ago now. It was murder, if I were to have to use one word. Not the fun kind, either. No movie-plot twists, no exciting thrills. Just a slow descent into back pain and stagnation.


Turns out that sitting is the cleverest way in the world to kill somebody, because it’s something most people want to do. You think “oh, this is better than being on your feet all day, or picking lettuce.” Think again!


I found that after a week of full-time office work, I was already thinking about finding a convenient bridge. But, the money was good, it was easy, and why not try to make it work? So began my journey of trying dozens of different pillows, cushions, and other props to try and make being seated all day bearable, after all I believe (and many others also believe) that sitting comfortably is one of the office productivity tips you shouldn’t ignore.


I became known as Phil, the Pillow Guy around the office because of them all. I had to tone down all the different break techniques and back strengthening exercises. Thankfully, when I got my own office, I had the space to try all the odd little tricks like balancing without legs touching the floor, or doing back angels against the wall to develop back muscles. I bought balls to use, balance chairs, I even tried standing, but that was worse if anything.


I wanted to be able to sit–just sit–without balancing, stretching, or feeling like I was slowly ebbing my life force into the floor. That’s when I decided to bite the bullet and get a  Herman Miller chair.

I figure if I was going to do it, if I was going to take the horrible step of admitting to myself that I was prepared to use my own money to pay for a chair at this job, I may as well go full-kilter and get the absolute best thing I could find.


There were a few things that drew me to the Embody. First, Youtube videos. I’ll buy anything that has a Youtube video. Looking at you, German ball cushions. I would never have ordered you if it weren’t for that Google Pixel-like ad you posted. God, it made sitting look like so much fun. I guess you have to be German, and also insane to actually enjoy them.


Well, the Embody has about a million Youtube videos, with fancy animation showing all the science that’s gone into making it work. Apparently, actually doctors designed these, which is obviously more than can be said for anything I found at Staples. It’s supposed to be an active chair even though it doesn’t use any effort to sit on it. I also thought it looked a lot less, er, medical than a lot of ergonomic chairs. It’s modern and cool, and now that I’ve been promoted, I don’t really want the vulnerability of being obviously trying not to be in pain when people come into my office for an assertive chat.

What I liked about it was it was designed to make you an active sitter, which is what I had been working on with all the exercises and balancing pillows, but in a way that was actually relaxing and conducive to work. It’s designed to stimulate your circulation, open up your chest posture, keep you from getting restless–all the things I was working on with the props but in a way that’s not completely distracting.


About a month ago, I finally did it. I ordered what as far as I’m concerned is the most expensive office chair known to mankind, and I absolutely love it. Holy shit. I never knew a chair could feel like this. Is it a placebo? I don’t think so, and I’ll tell you why, you cynical reader, you. I went into the first sitting with totally absurd expectations, and I noticed… nothing. Nothing at all. I had that sinking feeling you get when you’ve wasted an absurd amount of money, and turned back to work. I sat there until lunchtime, and to be perfectly honest, I still noticed nothing. That’s when it all clicked: I felt nothing, the entire morning at my desk. This has NEVER happened before. No back aches, no restlessness, no loss of circulation. Oh, I thought. NOW I get it. View this to find the best chair for preventing back pain.


I’m still not noticing anything, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’ll tell you where I do notice things: when I get up. I stand up straighter, I don’t feel the need to shake everything out, or stretch weirdly to get out cramps. People have noticed, and I’m finally starting to tell them about the Embody. I was nervous at first because I knew they’d Google and see the price. Whatever. I’ve already converted one coworker, and number two is ready to fall. By the way, don’t forget to visit Office Worthy List to gain access to different types of office chairs — for sure you’ll find one or two that meet your requirements e.g. goodbye back pain!