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One of the most popular standing desk chairs that we sell on BTOD.com is the Muvman by aeris. The Muvman has been a trend setter in our industry. A lot of manufacturers have come out with their own copycat products. While the Muvman has been incredibly successful, it is a niche product that won’t be right for everyone. In this post, I will go over the things that we have found to be most problematic when using and selling the Muvman standing stool. If these factors do not affect you, then the Muvman could be a great chair for you. It is important that we highlight any potential downsides with the products we review so that you do not buy something that is a bad fit for your needs. Here are the top 5 problems with the Muvman.
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1. High price point
I mentioned above that the Muvman has had a lot of copycat designs. Even with so many similar models on the market, the Muvman has remained the highest priced model of the chairs that have copied its design. The Muvman is made in Germany, with high quality components throughout, so you are getting a good product for your money. It will have a starting cost of about $449. $449 is going to be a limitation for a lot of buyers. This is especially true because I do not feel the Muvman is a chair that is best suited for long hours at a time. I will go into further detail below, but it may be tough for people to justify a $449 purchase that will be used off and on as a complimentary chair.
With so many similar models available, there are a lot of alternatives to the Muvman. If you are looking for a less expensive option but don’t want something low end, then I would recommend considering the Mobis II by Focal Upright. It functions like the Muvman but features a little different seat design and it sells for less than the Muvman.
If you are looking for a really low-cost alternative to the Muvman, then I would take a look at the Vivo 2800 by OFM. It has the same functionality as the Muvman, but it doesn’t have the same range of motion or high-quality parts. It sells for under $200.
2. Uncomfortable seat
The next problem is something that I think will be the biggest issue for most people. The seat is just not very comfortable. The seat size and shape make the surface area really small. It is only 13” x 12” so it is about 6” smaller, in both directions, than a normal office chair. The seat also has a convex shaped top. This means that it is rounded upward. The convex shape is designed to help you keep a good posture while perching but it reduces the amount of surface area available on an already small seat.
The seat also lacks padding when compared to a normal office chair. This is especially noticeable on the edges of the seat. The way that the chair is designed means that you will need to lean up against the front of the seat when at taller heights. Since the edges are not padded, it can be uncomfortable to lean against.
Unfortunately, the Muvman does not come in a version with a larger or more padded seat. If you like the functionality of the Muvman, but would prefer a more comfortable seat, then I would recommend looking into the Sitmatic Pogo. It has a round seat that has a thick molded foam cushion. A second option would be another product by aeris GmbH, the Swopper. The Swopper’s seat is 3” larger than the Muvman’s and feels more padded.
3. Lack of sitting mobility
Something that I took for granted before I got into standing chairs was wheels. Most standing chairs lack wheels and the Muvman is no exception. The reason that wheels were originally added to office chairs was to make workers more efficient. Instead of having to get up from their chair to get something out of their reach, they could just roll there quickly. The Muvman’s design makes it easy to get up from the chair but you will need to get up anytime you need something out of your reach.
The lack of sitting mobility will also affect your ability to get into your optimal typing position. Wheels make it easy to move a tiny amount and instantly know whether that spot is good for you or not. With the Muvman, you need to get off the chair, move it, then sit back down. You may need to perform this process several times before you find your comfortable position.
One thing that really helped me with making my typing position more comfortable, while using the Muvman, was my adjustable keyboard tray. It can move in and out, side to side, up and down and it can also tilt. It allowed me to bring my keyboard to the chair instead of having to get the chair in one specific spot in front of the keyboard.
If you’d prefer a chair with casters, then the Back App 2.0 may be a good option for you. It has a caster base that can be placed under the normal base. It has three wheels that move smoothly. It is important to note that the Back App 2.0 does not have any range of motion when using the caster base.
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4. Not good for long hours
I do not think it is reasonable to expect to replace an ergonomic chair that you use for long hours each day with the Muvman. I was able to use the Muvman for periods of 30-60 minutes at a time before needing to switch to another seating option. There are a few reasons for this. The first and biggest reason is the uncomfortable seat, as discussed earlier. The lack of padding, hard edges and small size made it difficult to use the chair for longer than 60 minutes at a time.
The next reason is that the Muvman does not have armrests or a backrest. This also means that there is no lumbar support. The convex seat shape makes it easier to maintain an upright posture, but you must consciously think about it occasionally, to remind yourself to sit up straight. After a while, it becomes difficult. Having a set of arms and a backrest with lumbar support really help to support your body and prolong the amount of time you can remain seated.
Another thing to consider is that the Muvman puts you in a position to purposely engage muscles and increase movement. This is more tiring than simply sitting in a normal ergonomic office chair. At a certain point, I feel like I need a rest when using a chair like the Muvman.
I think the best solution to this problem is to not have unrealistic expectations with the Muvman. It is best suited as a complimentary chair to your standing desk and a regular ergonomic chair. If you like to stand for most of the day but would like a few short breaks, then the Muvman may be a nice option. The Muvman can also be a nice complimentary chair for people that typically sit in a normal office chair but would like to incorporate some movement and activity into their workday.
Something that really helps me be comfortable when using a standing chair is a footrest. Being able to push your feet flat against a footrest instead of having them on the floor makes a big difference because you do not have as much pressure being placed on your shins. I would highly recommend a footrest when using the Muvman.
If you’d like a standing chair that you can use for long hours at a time, then the Swopper may be a product to consider. It is also made by aeris GmbH, but it features spring technology, which gives it a wider range of movement than the Muvman. It also features a larger seat and a wheel option.
5. There is an adjustment period
The final problem I want to address is not unique to the Muvman. It pertains to the adjustment period needed for your body to get used to any new sitting posture. If you have never used an active chair, then your body may need some time to get used to the new chair. This is especially true for standing chairs, like the Muvman. The Muvman puts you in a position in between sitting and standing. This means that more weight is being placed on your feet, shins and thighs.
There is also no way to fully take the weight off those areas, which can make it a bit more difficult to acclimate to the new sitting posture. It is normal for people to feel some soreness and pain when working their way into a standing chair lifestyle. It is also normal to feel tired sooner in the workday than normal until you get used to the chair since you are using more energy than normal.
There are a couple of things you can do to make your transition easier. The first is to start using the chair for short periods of time and slowly increase the amount of time you use the chair in one sitting. This should help reduce the chances of feeling soreness and pain during your transition.
Another option to consider is something that is only available on the Back App 2.0, Swopper and 3DEE. It is adjustable tension. Being able to adjust the tension means that you can start with a high amount of tension, which gives the chair a small range of motion. When you get more comfortable using the chair, then you can start reducing the tension to increase the range of motion.
Nobody can take away from the accomplishments of the Muvman, but it does have some downsides. The high price point may be tough to justify for some people. The seat design and lack of sitting mobility are more factors that may make people look for alternative products. The Muvman is also not a product I would recommend for people that want something to be comfortable in for two or more hours at a time.
Even with these downsides, the Muvman is still a popular choice in the standing desk community. With a high-end build quality, large seat height adjustment range and wide range of motion, it has some attractive features. It is also one of the nicest looking standing chairs available.
It just comes down to what factors you value the most in a standing chair. The Muvman may be a great option for some but it may also be a bad fit for others. By discussing the problems and offering some possible alternatives, we can help to ensure that you get the right product the first time.