Herman Miller Announces Embody(TM), the First Work Chair to Support Both Mind and Body

Thursday, October 23, 2008 General News
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COLOGNE, Germany, October 21 Herman Miller,Inc., the global office furniture manufacturer that has continuously set newstandards for seating comfort, ergonomics, and performance, introduces thenext groundbreaking innovation in work chairs: the Embody chair, designed byinternationally renowned designers Jeff Weber and the late Bill Stumpf.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081021/325123 )

"Our drive at Herman Miller to make the human experience better hasyielded many innovations," says Don Goeman, Herman Miller's Executive VicePresident-Research, Design and Development. "Over the last 30 years, each ofour seating products has built the foundation of research and knowledge forthe next. Embody once again reinvents the reference for ergonomics byproviding a chair designed to actually enhance your health."

Embody recognizes that almost all knowledge-based, creative workprocesses have become tethered to the electronic realm. We are bound to ourcomputers for longer periods of time throughout the day. This has contributedto more unhealthy working conditions, because prolonged sitting is bad foryou. Chairs hinder movement, yet movement is critical to physical health andmental performance. Extended sitting also stresses tissues and muscles,pressures the spine, and restricts blood flow. The results are physical andmental fatigue, discomfort, distraction, and even costly injury.

"The sitter side of the computer-and-sitter interface has never beenadequately addressed," Weber says. "In fact, accommodating technology at theexpense of people has become the priority in creating work environments."

These are serious issues in today's idea economy, where people are paidto produce ideas, and companies are seeking tools that help people perform attheir best.

Stumpf and Weber decided to solve the problem. Stumpf, designer orco-designer of Herman Miller's Aeron(R), Ergon(R), and Equa(R) work chairs,came to Herman Miller in 2002 and said, "I think I have one more in me." BillStumpf passed away in 2006, but his partner Jeff Weber, principal of StudioWeber + Associates (formerly Stumpf, Weber + Associates), carried on, givingthe chair its final function and form.

Working closely with a cross-functional team from Herman Miller, and inconsultation with leading figures in academia, healthcare and ergonomics,Weber and Stumpf invented a chair that restores balance to the human/computerrelationship by supporting both your mind and your body.

"Embody is a health-positive seating experience," says Weber, "Because itenhances both your intake of oxygen and the cellular exchange of oxygen andcarbon dioxide, improving your health and ultimately fueling your brain." Aset of important innovations makes this possible.

Embody's form is defined by these health-positive features. Thetechnology of the chair is not hidden. Instead, it's a purposeful part of theaesthetic, giving the chair its intriguing look - a "visual feast," saidStumpf.

Like all Herman Miller products, Embody's design is based in extensiveresearch, including studies of biomechanics, seating behaviors and postures,anthropometric data, metabolic measures, and tissue perfusion (the exchangeof oxygen and carbon dioxide in body tissue).

Research also confirms Embody's health-positive advantage. For example,research shows that Embody does better than any chair at maintaining oxygenlevels in tissue, allowing people to stay focused and engaged. Research alsodemonstrates that the Embody backrest provides greater support to users'backs compared to other chairs.

Embody supports Herman Miller's commitment to the environment as well,helping Herman Miller reach its environmental sustainability goals of zerolandfill, zero hazardous waste generation, and zero VOC emissions by 2020.Embody adheres to the McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC)"Cradle-to-Cradle" protocol. MBDC Silver certification is pending. Embody has45 percent recycled content, is 96 percent recyclable, and is PVC-free.

About Herman Miller

Herman Miller strives to create a better world around you-with inventivedesigns and services that enhance the places where people work, heal, learnand live, and through its commitment to social responsibility. In fiscal2008, the company's award-winning products and strategic consulting servicesgenerated more than $2 billion in revenue. Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQGlobal Select Market under the symbol MLHR.- Instinctive back: Inspired by the human spine, Embody's back adapts to your unique spinal curvature. It lets you move freely and naturally to improve blood flow and eliminate discomfort and distraction. The back is narrow, allowing your arms to move back and forth naturally. This opens up the chest cavity, letting your lungs take in more air and send more oxygen to the brain. - Pixelated seat: When you move, the seat moves with you. Using a matrix of pixels, the seat's unique, three layered construction of materials and technology conforms to micro-movements and distributes weight evenly. - Zoned Support: The chair removes stresses on your body at every contact point, accommodating a diverse population. Reduced pressure improves circulation and facilitates the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide within cells. You stay mentally fresh and comfortable. - Working Recline: Embody's unique tilt mechanism encourages working recline, the most healthful working position. The chair automatically stabilizes your pelvis in the seat pocket in every position and supports your thoracic back while correctly aligning your eyes with the computer screen. With no uncomfortable and distracting physical constraints on the body, the mind is freed to focus on ideas and the tasks at hand. - Inclusive Sizing: Embody accommodates nearly everyone's abilities, dimensions, and preferences within one chair size. The seat surface length can expand or contract to reduce pressure on the thighs without disrupting the user's fully-engaged position in the seat pocket. The seat width accommodates the greatest population of hip-breadth dimension. The chair's arms adjust in height and width to support a full range of work activities and postures.

SOURCE Herman Miller Ltd

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