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In 2006, aeris GmbH forever changed the standing desk market with their introduction of the Muvman standing chair. Since its release, it has racked up industry award after industry award and has cemented itself as one of the staples in the active seating category. Its innovative design is something that is often copied by competitors but most of them still fall short of the original. We have a Muvman in our office so I tested it to find out what it was like. There is a lot to like with the Muvman but my experience did have its downsides. This review will highlight all aspects of the Muvman so that you have all of the information needed to decide if the Muvman is the right chair for you.
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aeris GmbH is a German based company that has been doing business since 1996. It was founded by Josef Glöckl on the principles of bringing movement into people’s workday. aeris focuses on producing high quality products with innovative design concepts. Their product offerings are very limited but products from aeris are often industry award winners.
For all US distribution, aeris has teamed up with Via Seating. US customers will often see the Muvman as being a product by Via Seating for this reason. The product itself is the same but there are some differences within the policies between aeris and Via seating. Those will be highlighted below.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Specs / Features / Pricing
– Return Policy and Warranty
– Shipping and Assembly
– Build Quality
– Seat Comfort
– Range of Motion
– Making Adjustments
– What I Like
– What I Don’t Like
– Bottom Line
Country of Origin
Seat Size: 13″W x 12.6″D
Standard Height Range: 20″-33”
Muvman Tall Height Range: 23”-36”
Base Diameter: 15″
Weight Capacity: 265 lbs.
Weight: 13.9 lbs.
Glass reinforced polyamide base
Microfiber seat is standard
Non-skip base plate
Carrying handle on back of seat
Pneumatic seat height adjustment
4° permanent forward cylinder tilt
Multidimensional base joint
2019 Price – $449.00
|Muvman Tall – 23”-36”||$40.00|
The Muvman is available in five different seat color options: black, blue, green, grey and red. You can also choose between a black or grey finish base. The factory vinyl is available in black only. One thing to note is that the red seat cannot be paired with the grey base.
US customers can return the Muvman within the first 30 days for a full refund. You will be responsible for the return shipping fees and the item must be returned in the original packaging. If the item does not arrive back in like new condition, then a portion of your refund may be deducted. Customers outside the US will want to consult with a local dealer about their return policy for the Muvman.
aeris GmbH offers a 3-year warranty with no excluded parts.
Muvman orders typically ship within 2-3 business days. It will ship via ground carrier and will arrive within a few days after shipping. It arrives in a small box that weighs around 20 pounds. It is easy to move for one person. The product is very well packaged.
The Muvman arrives fully assembled. Just pull it out of the box and your ready to go.
The Muvman was designed by Henner Jahns and is made in Germany. It is one of the highest quality standing chairs I have tested. All of the components are high-end and it has a very sleek look. The base and seat pan are made from glass-fiber reinforced polymid, which is an upgrade over the standard plastic found on lower end products. The cylinder is made by the German company Stabilus GmbH and is also a step up in quality over the Chinese imported cylinders found on the majority of completing models. I am also a fan of the microfiber upholstery. It is soft to the touch and provides a nice feel compared to products with standard fabric or foam. The Muvman functions very smoothly and is silent during all stages of adjustment.
Mobility is an area that the Muvman really excels in. The minimalistic design with lightweight components and a built-in handle make the Muvman easy to pick up and move. You can easily move it to a new spot in your office, a different room or even to an entirely new zip code. I took the Muvman home a couple times during my testing. I drive a compact car and had no problem fitting it in my trunk or backseat. It is also small enough to be stored away under your desk or in a closet if needed.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the Muvman is its unique seat design. The seat on the Muvman is very different than the seats you find on typical office chairs. For starters, it is much smaller. It is about 6” narrower in both directions than the seats you find on normal office chairs. It has a small amount of padding and a convex shape. The seat is designed to allow you to sit more easily with an open hip angle when in a perched position. The sitting experience is much firmer than normal office chairs and you can often times feel the hard edges of the seat because it is so small.
Range of Motion
There is a large range of motion on the Muvman. The cylinder connects to the base with a joint that allows the cylinder to tilt in all directions. The tension on the joint will bring the cylinder back to a centered position with a slight forward tilt of 4°. The joint on the Muvman has a wider range of motion than lower-end competing products. It has less tension and feels smoother. While the range of motion is generous, there is not a 3rd dimension of movement like the bouncing motion on the Swopper.
Adjusting the Muvman
There is only one adjustment on the Muvman, the seat height adjustment. There are two buttons underneath either side of the seat. They are both flush with the bottom of the seat for a clean look. You can press one or both buttons. Pressing and holding a button will unlock the gas cylinder which will make the seat go up. Sitting on the seat and using your weight will allow you to lower the seat. The adjustment process is simple, smooth and silent.
The normal thought process of an ergonomic office chair goes out the window with the Muvman. 90° angles, backrests and arms are traded for an open leg angle and movement. You will not find a thick molded or memory foam seat. Instead, you have a stiff, convex seat that helps to keep you in a perched position. Normal ergonomic office chairs are designed to keep you in the same position for a long period of time. The Muvman is designed to allow you to move to help promote blood flow and allow you to change positions when you get uncomfortable. The open leg angle helps to alleviate pressure on your lower back while promoting good posture.
I found the Muvman to be a stable product at all heights. The rim of the base has an anti-slip rubber strip. This prevents the chair from sliding. The base does have the potential to tip a little bit if you lean too far in one direction. I never felt like I was off balance or in danger of falling over. I also did not feel like I was putting in a lot of effort to make sure the product held its position like wobble stools or the Focal Locus Seat.
What Do I Like?
Large height adjustment range
The Muvman offers one of the largest height adjustment ranges I have seen on any standing chair. The Muvman is a bit unique because the seat goes low enough for you to use the chair in a more normal sitting position with your knees close to 90°. Even though it goes so low, it also has one of the highest maximum heights with the Muvman Tall option.
Aside from the Mogo, the Muvman is the most mobile standing chair I have tested. Its small profile, light weight and built-in handle make it really easy to move. Not only is it simple to move, it is also a nice option for people looking for a secondary chair because it can be stored away in small spaces. I had no problem tucking it away in the corner of my office or even under my desk.
Increases movement while working
I was definitely more active while using the Muvman when compared to my normal ergonomic chair. I found myself moving and wiggling almost the entire time that I was using the chair. There is just something about being able to move freely that feels nice. I was not only more active while sitting but also around the office as a whole. The lack of arms, wheels and backrest made me much more willing to get up out of my chair to perform tasks around the office.
Made in Germany
The Muvman is one of the top high-end standing chairs that you can order. All of the parts are well made and the unit functions flawlessly. aeris not only used high-end parts but they focused on making an attractive product. The Muvman is a noticeably nicer product than its Chinese competitors.
Wide range of motion
There are only a couple chairs that I have tested that have a wider range of movement than the Muvman. The design with a joint in the base gives you the ability to move in any direction. While this design is used on a number of competing products, I have not found one that has loose enough tension to allow for such a wide range of movement. The other models are much stiffer and take more effort to move the seat.
What Don’t I Like?
I am not a fan of the seat on the Muvman. The aspect that I dislike the most is the small size. There is simply not enough seat space to support your entire bottom. This problem is made worse by the convex seat shape. This shape makes the surface area even smaller than it already is and places a lot of your weight on a smaller area of your bottom. There is also very little padding on the seat or edges. The edges are square, hard and not comfortable to be sitting against. I found the seat to be uncomfortable when perching due to these edges.
The Muvman is not a good option for prolonged hours
This is not a chair that I would recommend for long hours at a time. As mentioned earlier, I found the seat to be uncomfortable. My butt would go numb after anywhere between 30-60 minutes and I would need to take a short break to take a quick walk around the office. The lack of a backrest and arms made it hard to maintain good back posture for an extended period of time. I think this chair is better suited for small stints or collaborative work areas than a replacement for your normal office chair.
There is an adjustment period
The Muvman is much different than your normal office chair so it will take a bit to get used to the new style of sitting. You are using different muscles and you will need to adjust to not being able to lean on a backrest or arms. You will need to adjust to not being able to roll to a new section of your desk and instead having to get up and walk there. Some of these adjustments will be more difficult to adjust to than others but there will be new things that you need to get used to.
Poor sitting mobility
The Muvman doesn’t have wheels, so moving the chair around is more tedious than a normal office chair. I found this to be the most annoying when trying to make small adjustments to get into the right typing position.
Overall, I have really mixed feelings about the Muvman. There is so much to like about the chair. It is a nice tool to help you incorporate more movement and activity into your workday. It has a premium build quality and an innovative design that has been copied by numerous competitors. It has a massive height adjustment range, a wide range of movement and fantastic portability.
All of these factors are great but unfortunately, were overshadowed by the uncomfortable seat design. The uncomfortable seat is not something I could overlook and this feeling was shared by other people in our office. The Muvman is a popular product and has received numerous awards so there are definitely people out there that disagree with my opinion on the seat.
I think that the Muvman is made for a very specific body type and/or working environment. People with slim or athletic body types will be better suited for the Muvman. I also think that the Muvman would excel in work environments that have constantly changing seating areas. At the end of the day, the Muvman has its positives and its negatives, just like every product I review. I hope that I have given you enough information to decide whether the Muvman will be your next standing chair purchase.