Best Office Chairs for Back Pain Review (2020 Update) | The Definitive Guide!

I’ve had my share of experiences with office chairs as well as back and leg pain.

I work in an office for ten+ hours each day, and I love giving piggy-back rides to my nephews, so that’s probably a reason.

It’s no wonder that I have back pain.

Back PainMy doctor helped me managed this pain with physio and some analgesics, but it doesn’t help that I sit down for so long. I spend 90% of my time either sitting on my couch, my car, my desk chair, or lying in mind.

If you’re like 80% of Americans, you also have this problem.

I did a lot of research on proper posture and why people aren’t made for sitting. Luckily, modern office chairs have ergonomic designs that keep your body in an anatomically correct position.

Best office chairs for back pain allow you to keep a comfortable, neutral position, so they don’t damage your spine or muscles.

Some of these chairs can seem expensive. Paying $2000 for an chair can feel outrageous. But that’s just half a year of physio sessions, and a fine chair will last you for at least a decade.



#1 Herman Miller Embody Chair – Best Chair For Back Pain Relief  (Most Comfortable)

Embody Chair

The Herman Miller Embody Chair is one of the most popular models on the market. I have personally bought one of these chairs after thorough research for the whole office. My team isn’t big so that I could afford it.

Studies show that the environment in which you work affects your productivity. After buying Embody chairs for my team, it was all they could speak of for a couple of days.

But afterward, they settled into their comfy chairs and worked better because they were happier and didn’t need to get up so often for breaks.

Benefits:

  • It’s easy to use because it doesn’t have complicated levers and knobs to push and pull to find a ​right position.
  • It helps correct posture because its back and seat cushions allow a proper weight distribution, taking the pressure off your spine.
  • It allows you to move freely because the Embody has an ergonomic design that fits your anatomical build.
  • It is easy to adapt thanks to its tilt limiter and adjustable seat and armrests. Too bad it doesn’t come in more sizes, though!
  • It’s durable because its base and frame are made from graphite, and the ​fabric doesn’t rip easily. The 12-year warranty also speaks volumes in favor of its durability.
  • It won’t get you sweaty and uncomfortable thanks to its breathable ​material.
  • You can trust in its quality because it’s made in the USA by a reputable firm with decades of tradition.
  • It can help compressed disc pain and back pain sufferers because it’s a firm chair. However, people who like softer office chairs might prefer another model.
  • It allows you to rest and do multiple tasks, even gaming because the chair can lean backward as well as sit upright.

​PROS

  • Durable and strong
  • Anatomically correct
  • Promotes ​right posture
  • Back pain relief
  • Breathable
  • Long warranty

​CONS

  • Just one size
  • Very firm

​Summary

The Herman Miller Embody is the best overall model because it’s ​comfortable office chair with ergonomic design that takes the pressure ​from your spine, and it’s easy to adjust.

 

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Raynor Ergohuman High-Back Mesh Chair

Best Chair For Lower Back Pain

Raynor Ergohuman

I bought a Raynor Ergohuman for my home office because I have flashing sciatica pains. My favorite activity is giving piggy-back rides to my nephews, but all that makes my sciatica flare-up. I consider this to be  one of the best chairs for lower back pain.

It features back angle adjustment, so that you can select the best recline position. This reliefs pressure from your spine which is helping with lower back pain such  as sciatica pain.

That’s why I decided to buy this chair and, to tell you the truth, it’s one of the best choices I ever made, apart from all those piggy-back rides.

​Features & Benefits:

  • It can alleviate lower back and hip pain like no other chair thanks to its back angle adjustment that allows you to pick the most appropriate recline for your needs.
  • It alleviates backaches and sciatica pain because its comfortable recline and ergonomic design take the pressure ​out of your spine. It makes it a ​comfortable office chair recliner.
  • It’s easy to find the best position for your needs, thanks to its high adjustability. You can customize the backrest, headrest, and seat however you want to.
  • You are always supported because the adjustable lumbar ​- ​provides ergonomic design, and it’s ​simple to shift.
  • It supports your body and helps you maintain a correct posture thanks to its adjustable seat depth and the synchro-tilt mechanism that allows the chair to adapt dynamically to your movements.
  • It won’t make you sweaty because the ​fabric is extremely breathable.
  • It can accommodate taller people because it’s adjustable and has seat depth customization.

​PROS

  • Adjustable recline
  • Easy to personalize
  • Breathable
  • Contoured ​support (lumbar)
  • Highly supportive
  • Promotes positive posture

​CONS

  • Not that great for a short person with back pain

​Summary

The Raynor Ergohuman High Back Mesh Chair is the top office chair for back pain thanks to its reliable lumbar support, high adjustability, and recline.

 

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Herman Miller Aeron Chair – Best Ergonomic Office Chair

Herman Miller Aeron

I have a cousin named Joanna. She knows that I’m researching chairs, and she’s familiar with what I’m writing about.

Joanna also likes to read, and one time she called me excitedly saying that there’s a reference about these Aeron chairs in Robert Sawyer’s famous Neanderthal Parallax.

The Aeron is extremely famous since its 1994 launch, which means it already has 25 years of tradition. You can see this chair featured in lots of media, from The Office to 30 Rock and The Simpsons, where it’s featured as God’s chair.

Benefits​

  • It’s extremely breathable because it has a ​fabric called Follicle suspension, which also adds durability to the overall design.
  • It helps alleviate back pain because you will sit in a comfortable, ergonomic, and anatomically correct chair.
  • It’s easy to buy the right Aeron for you because you can choose from three available sizes.
  • It allows a natural swivel thanks to a well-researched and patented tilt technology called Kinemat.

​PROS

  • Breathable
  • Sturdy
  • Anatomically correct
  • It allows you to move freely
  • Adjustable

​CONS

  • Limited armrests adjustments

​Summary

The Herman Miller Chair is a ​great choice under $300 because it’s designed anatomically correct, it’s durable and adapts to your movements.

 

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Modway Articulate – Affordable Ergonomic Chair

Modway Articulate

The Modway Articulate is one of the office chairs I had at my former job. It’s not a perfect chair, but it’s affordable, and so the manager decided to get us all these ergonomic chairs.

I didn’t much like the thin seat cushion and the fact that I couldn’t adjust the armrests to a lower level, but other than that, I was pretty happy with the choice.

Benefits:

  • Your arms don’t get numb, and your shoulders don’t creep up to your ears because the armrests can be adjusted in a slightly downwards position that is great for working on the computer.
  • This chair can accommodate different people, and it’s ​simple to find the right position thanks to adjustable seat depth, back seat height, and armrests.
  • It takes the pressure ​from your spine because it reclines easily.
  • It’s safe, thanks to its locking function for recline.
  • You can use it in all sorts of areas, including carpeted ones, thanks to its five hooded casters.
  • You can easily turn around and talk to your co-workers or grab something from behind thanks to its 360-degree swivel.
  • Heavier people can also use it because it supports 330 pounds max, but chances are heavier people won’t like the thin seat cushion.
  • It won’t make you sweaty because it has a breathable ​fabric.

​PROS

  • Customizable
  • Low-cost
  • Supportive recline
  • Ergonomic
  • Breathable

​CONS

  • Thin seat cushion
  • Armrests don’t go low enough

Summary

The Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair is one of the best affordable chairs because it’s comfortable, customizable, user-friendly, and posture-friendly.

 

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TOPSKY Mesh Computer Office Chair With Ergonomic Design

Top Value

Topsky Mesh

My husband has a TOPSKY chair in his office, and he likes it because of its adjustable headrest. He’s only at his desk for a couple of hours each day, so he doesn’t need a durable chair.

Benefits and features:

  • It minimizes back pain because it features adjustable lumbar support.
  • It alleviates neck, shoulder, and upper body pain because it has a three-position adjustable headrest.
  • It’s ​great for working on the computer because your arms are supported.
  • It promotes a positive posture and allows you to relax with its 145° synchronous mechanism that feels almost like zero gravity.
  • It’s safe for napping thanks to its position lock.
  • It’s sweat-proof and supportive thanks to its high-density mesh construction.
  • It can accommodate heavier people because it supports up to 330 pounds.
  • It doesn’t let your coat wrinkle thanks to its back hanger.

​PROS

  • Good lumbar support
  • ​Decent recline
  • Adjustable headrest
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable

​CONS

  • Not very durable
  • Limited adjustments

Summary

The TOPSKY Mesh Computer Office Chair is ergonomic thanks to its sturdy ​material, comfortable recline, plus its reliable lumbar and head support.

 

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Ergonomic Mesh Computer by BestOffice

Best Budget Office Chair (Under $200)

BestOffice Ergonomic Office Chair

This chair was the top contender to the TOPSKY my husband decided to get. It’s also an affordable, ergonomic chair for people who are not in the office a lot, but it’s not that great for tall users.

Benefits and features:

  • It’s safe, thanks to its BIFIMA-certified parts.
  • It’s user-friendly because it’s easy to install and supports people up to 250 pounds.
  • It’s comfortable thanks to its wide seat.
  • It’s easy to find the right position because you can adjust its height (height adjustment) and because it reclines to 135°.
  • It promotes a good position because its seatback curve accommodates your spine, and the triangle armrests support your arms and shoulders.
  • It alleviates back pain thanks to its ergonomic nylon ​back support.
  • It’s sturdy thanks to its heavy-duty metal base.
  • You can grab things from left and right and talk with your co-workers because this chair boasts a 360-degree swivel.

​PROS

  • Easy setup
  • BIFIMA-certified parts
  • Comfortable seat
  • S-shape backrest
  • Lumbar back support

​CONS

  • Low armrests
  • Firm seat
  • Not very durable

​Summary

The BestMassage Office Chair is the best budget office chair thanks to its S-shape design, lumbar support, and adjustable armrests.

 

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KADIRYA High Back Bonded Leather

#1 Executive Office Chair

Kadirya

The KADIRYA is what we bought for my uncle last Christmas. He’s the executive type you see in movies, and he looks like he’s always ready to pour you a glass of brandy and offer you a cigar.

He’s very happy with this model because the chair is extremely stylish, durable, and comfy. Next time you need some gift ideas, drop me a line.

Benefits and features:

  • It’s elegant, seeing as it’s made with bonded leather, and it has a high, imposing back.
  • It’s comfortable because the seat is really plush, with soft padding and a waterfall edge, and the flip-up armrests are also supportive. You can sit in this chair longer.
  • It doesn’t let your legs cramp because the waterfall edge design doesn’t dig into your hamstrings.
  • You can get a quick rest or do some brainstorming thanks to its 120-degree design.
  • It’s ​great for asserting dominance since the backrest reclines a little when you sit in it. This position is ​ok for an executive, but not so good for someone who’s constantly writing at their laptop.
  • The chair is sturdy and stable because it sports a heavy-duty nylon base, it’s BIFIMA-certified and can hold people up to 250 pounds.

​PROS

  • Elegant and imposing
  • Smooth recline
  • Cozy
  • Supportive armrests
  • Sturdy
  • Safe

​CONS

  • Not the best recline lever
  • Not for constant computer work

​Summary

The KADIRYA High Back Bonded Leather Office Chair is a good executive chair because it’s stylish, comfortable, and helps assert your alpha energy around the office.

 

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La-Z-Boy Delano Executive Bonded Leather Chair

Best Executive Office Chair & Great For Tall People With Back Pain

LA-Z-Boy Delano Chair

The La-Z-Boy Delano is what my uncle had before we bought him the KADIRYA. He liked this chair because it was supportive of his height and because it helped alleviate his back problems.

When he moved from Montana to Florida, he found out that the leather fabric felt particularly hot. And that’s when we decided to buy him another chair.

Benefits and features:

  • It looks very elegant in your living room or lounge thanks to the chestnut bonded-leather upholstery and the walnut-wood parts.
  • It feels comfortable to sit in because the leather fabric is supple and smooth.
  • It’s supportive thanks to its ComfortCore Plus technology that uses several memory foam layers for cushioning and support.
  • It is a ​great choice for tall and heavy people because La-Z-Boy features extra padding, a wide seat, and can support people up to 400 pounds.
  • It’s easy to adjust to alleviate back pain or shoulder aches thanks to a customizable recline and height.

​PROS

  • Elegant
  • Smooth leather
  • Firm and supportive
  • Adjustable
  • Easy to recline
  • Good for big and tall people

​CONS

  • Not breathable

​Summary

The La-Z-Boy Delano Big & Tall Executive Bonded Leather Office Chair is a stylish, supportive, and smooth office chair.

 

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Steelcase Gesture Chair

Best Computer Chair For Sitting Longer HoursGesture Chair

The Steelcase Gesture is what my former employer had. She was the female version of Bobby Axelrod from Billions, without all the drama.

Bottom line is she needed to change from one device to the other, and move a lot. She also likes all things that look futuristic, and I must admit she looks the part.

Benefits and features:

  • It allows you to change posture quickly because the chair moves when you move.
  • It’s comfortable and ergonomic courtesy of an S-shape backrest.
  • The armrests prevent shoulder, neck, and upper body pain because they’re placed toward the back.
  • You can change between devices quickly without compromising your posture because the Gesture 360 arm design allows the chair’s armrests to move alongside your arms. However, some people aren’t comfortable with the constant swivel of the armrests.
  • You can sit in the Gesture for ​longer periods because the seat has soft edges, adaptive bolstering, and air pockets underneath the padding for increased support.
  • You can find the right position and correct a poor posture because the seat and back are easy to adjust.
  • The Gesture minimizes back pain thanks to its patented Core Equalizer technology to support the correct anatomical lumbar position.

​PROS

  • Futuristic
  • S-shape back
  • Comfortable
  • Highly adjustable armrests
  • Patented, reliable lumbar support

​CONS

  • The armrests can’t be locked into a fixed position
  • No headrest
  • ​One of the few vegan-friendly fat burners for women.
  • ​One of the few vegan-friendly fat burners for women.
  • ​One of the few vegan-friendly fat burners for women.

​Summary

The Steelcase Gesture Chair is the chair you need if you have back pain and need to change various devices quickly because it’s ergonomic, comfortable, and moves with your body.

 

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Argomax Black High Back Desk

Best Office Chair For Sciatica Pain Relief

Argomax Ergonomic

One of my friends has an Argomax for her office, and she swears it’s the best she tried for sciatica pain.

She has always struggled with scoliosis and poor posture, and she needs a chair with a bigger recline to help her rest and take the pressure off her spine.

A few months in the Argomax, and she’s already feeling better, though she is also going to physio.

Benefits and features:

  • It can alleviate sciatica pain because it has an S-shaped backrest that adjusts easily to accommodate your correct posture. Its customizable Smart Auto-adaptive design for the base reclines the chair according to your weight.
  • The chair is easy to adjust, and it, therefore, promotes a good posture. The adjustable headrest and padded armrests reduce the risk of upper body aches and neck pain.
  • You can relax and take the pressure off your spine courtesy of a 135ᵒ tilt with a three-way lock.
  • The chair is sturdy and durable because its parts are BIFIMA and SGS-certified, plus it’s made with sturdy materials like glass fiber and nylon for the frame.
  • It’s comfortable to sit in it for ​a long time because the chair is firm and comfortable thanks to its dense foam, sciatica-friendly padding.
  • It doesn’t cut circulation to your hamstrings, where the sciatic nerve passes, thanks to a waterfall edge seat design.

​PROS

  • Supportive
  • It allows correct posture
  • Good recline
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Firm and comfortable seat

​CONS

  • Few armrests adjustments

​Summary

The Argomax Black High Desk Chair is a good choice if you have sciatica because it promotes a good posture to take the pressure off your spine, and it has a firm ​seat with a waterfall edge design to promote good circulation.

 

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Humanscale Freedom Headrest Chair

Humanscale Freedom

I’ve heard a lot about the Humanscale Freedom. I have two friends who’ve bought this model. One of them loves it because she likes a chair that moves freely; the other one hates it because she prefers tilt-lock adjustments.

Benefits and features:

  • It allows you to move freely because its design is automatically adaptive.
  • It’s easy to use because it features no recline levels, dials, or knobs. The reclining mechanism adjusts according to your weight.
  • You are constantly supported thanks to the adjustable recline and pivoting backrest.
  • The chair feels comfortable courtesy of its plush cushions that adapt to your body’s shape and support your pressure points.
  • It won’t give you shoulder, head, or upper body aches thanks to the dynamic, synchronous armrests that move with you when you’re reclining.
  • It’s a durable chair, endorsed by a 15-year warranty for the seating, and a 5-year warranty for the fabric.

​PROS

  • Auto recline with no manual adjustments
  • Synchronous headrest and armrests
  • Constant support
  • Comfort for prolonged hours
  • Durable
  • Decreased back pain

​CONS

  • No returns accepted if buying on the official website
  • Some people prefer a tilt lock instead of auto adjustments
  • Fragile headrest
  • The slick fabric makes you slide out

​Summary

I’ve tried it too put of curiosity, and it’s a good model, although it has some ​downsides.

 

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TOP Models Which Deserve to Mention

You’ve seen the best models on the market, but several other chairs deserve at least a quick mention.

Zenith High Back Mesh Office Chair

Zenith Office Chair

The Zenith is ergonomic and features breathable mesh, headrest swivel, and lumbar back support.

The armrests are also adjustable, and the seat is deep, large, and cushiony. I like the stable and contoured design that helps keep a positive posture.

AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair by Amazon

AmazonBasics Mid Back Chair

This chair is comfortable thanks to its padded seat and pneumatic adjustments, but it doesn’t support heavy people.

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BestMassage Home Office Chair Desk

BestMassage

This chair is sturdy and cushioned. You can use it on any surface, and it’s comfortable for prolonged hours. The human body engineering design for the armrests is another plus.

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Serta Mid Back Chair

Serta Mid Back

With its kinetic lumbar back and ergo-layered body pillows, the Serta Office chair is comfortable and prevents back pain. On the downside, it doesn’t feature many adjustments.

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Poly and Bark Inverness Ergonomic Chair

Poly And Bark Chair

This chair is multi-functional and easy to adjust, and so it promotes a positive posture. Although it has a breathable design, it’s not a compact chair.

Ikea MARKUS – Best Lumbar Support

IKEA MARKUS

The built-in lumbar back support is reliable, and I like the breathable mesh. I find it one of the best chairs for gaming, although it also features a few adjustment options.

Steelcase Leap Chair

SteelCase Leap

The Steelcase Leap is ergonomic because it accommodates the S-shape of your spine. This chair features a LiveBack technology to move dynamically when you change postures, so it’s very supportive. The firm padding is good for people with sciatica.

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Smugdesk Ergonomic Office Chair (Under $100)

Smugdesk

If you have a limited budget, the Smudgedesk Ergonomic office chair is a good choice thanks to its high-back design, breathable mesh, padded headrest, and seat. These features make it comfortable for long hours of writing.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How to Select the Best Ergonomic Office Chair For Lower Back Pain?

If you are having lower back pain, you need to choose chair that is supportive, with adjustable backrest, headrest,  and armrests. Here are a few criteria I use to choose and rank ergonomic office chairs:

  1. 1
    Support: You need multiple adjustment options for your headrest, arms, and headrests.
  2. 2
    Anatomically-correct design: Look for an S-shape backrest and downward armrests to promote a positive posture.
  3. 3
    Comfortable seat: You need a cushiony, padded seat that’s firm enough for prolonged hours. Waterfall edges and the right degree of firmness take the pressure off your glutes and hamstrings. At the same time -t oo much ​ padding may put pressure on ​glutes, ​and that activates your lower back pain.
  4. 4
    Synchronous movements: An ergonomic chair should accommodate the natural movements you make, so you’re supported in every position.
  5. 5
    Recline: You need a good recline to take the pressure off your spine and relax.


Why is Sitting So Bad For You?

Sitting is bad for you because millennia of evolution have made your body into a thing that moves, not one that sits.

It’s just recently that the modern world has transformed us from people who are constantly walking or standing into creatures that sit in traffic-jams or our office from daybreak to nightfall.

Sitting

Our bodies aren’t adapted to sitting, which puts pressure on our pelvic bones and keeps our spines into a forced position. Sitting in an inappropriate chair tenses your muscles strain your upper body and neck and doesn’t let your shoulders rest comfortably.

Sitting keeps your pelvis in an unnatural backward position instead of letting it keep a natural, forward tilt.

All those issues interfere with your correct posture and cause your backaches and joint problems.


What are Low Back Pain Symptoms, Locations, Causes & Treatments?

80% of Americans experience low back pain at one time or another during their life. This pain is not an illness, but a symptom of various causes, such as:

  • Incorrect posture
  • Nerve root irritation
  • Compressed discs
  • Scoliosis and other spine problems
  • Sciatica
  • Heavy lifting
  • Prolonged periods sitting down
  • Obesity
  • Injury and infection

Someone with lower back pain feels acute pain around their lumbar area that can radiate to their leg.

This lumbar and leg pain can worsen when you move, at night, or when you’re sitting for hours. Numbness or reduced range of motion are other symptoms.

The treatment begins with a visit to your doctor. The most common procedures are X-ray and blood tests, along with a complete history of your medical background.

Depending on the cause and severity of symptoms, your doctor will prescribe physiotherapy, analgesics, or surgery.


Consumer Reports

Many people appreciate the importance of a good chair.

You can look at plenty of YouTube videos that review office chairs, along with comments from verified purchase customers on Amazon or even Reddit groups.

Here are some consumer reports I’ve found:

David Zhang says that the Herman Miller Embody is one of the best office chairs he’s sat in because it’s extremely comfortable, flexible, and easy to adjust.

He identifies certain minuses, such as clunky armrests, uncomfortable seat pan and the fact that the lumbar support needs constant fiddling.

Good friends to know reviews of the Ergohuman Office Chair. This British Seth Rogan appreciates the mesh build and natural recline, but he’s not overjoyed about the bar that staples the lumbar support to the backrest.

The Consumer Reports

There are plenty of comparisons on Reddit, for instance, on this thread about the Aeron vs. Steelcase Leap. People agree that Aeron is a love it or hate it type of chair.

Heavier people don’t like Aeron’s mesh because they don’t feel supported. Most reviewers agree that you can sit on both these chairs for more than 8-9 hours per day without having back pain.

The TOPSKY mesh office chairs also received good reviews, especially from people who are into gaming. You can read more about their opinions here and here.


Final Verdict on Top Office Chairs for Back Pain

All the models I’ve reviewed here are good, but the Herman Miller Embody Chair is the best overall, whether you have back pain or not.

This model helps you maintain proper posture because it allows for a balanced weight distribution. It lets you move freely and is easy to adapt.

With the 12-year warranty and made-in-the-USA design, you can rest assured this chair will last you for years.

I chose this as the best overall model also because you can use it for various tasks. The Embody is versatile, whether you’re an executive, a freelancer, or a gamer.

The mesh firmness and support can alleviate the symptoms of sciatica and compressed disc pain, although some reviewers have complained about the learning curve and lack of plushness.

You can also consider other models, including Raynor Ergohuman, is you have bad back pain, Aeron, or Modway if you need affordable office chairs or the plush and stylish KADIRYA High Back Bonded Leather Executive chair.

Herman Miller Embody

Our #1 Office Chair for Back Pain

  • Breathable
  • Back Pain Relief
  • Long Warranty
  • Promotes good posture
Embody Chair

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