iMovR Neemo Ergonomic Chair Review
- Lab tested
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The Neemo feels great to sit in and comes with an excellent 12-year warranty matching the much more expensive Herman Miller equivalent. Unlike most ergonomic chairs you can buy these days it is built in North America, not China. While it may not fit the very largest or very smallest users because it only has one seat pan size, it has excellent ergonomic adjustability for 95% of the population.
|MSRP / List Price||$524|
Free to lower 48 states
Black and Birch (drift gray seat, nickel mesh seatback and black armrest cap)
Steel with plastic covering
Seat height: 15.5″-20″
Seat: 20″ x 20″
|Competition||Compare to Other Top-Rated Ergonomic Chairs|
|Where to buy||
Buy at iMovR
|Ease of Assembly|
|Positives||The Neemo has a comfortable and breathable mesh back. There are enough adjustment levers to setup ideal ergonomics without being so overwrought with adjustments as to make it complicated or intimidating to properly tune the chair to your body. A 12-year warranty covers the entirety of the chair, unlike competing warranties that are much shorter for the seat fabric and foam. Assembly is quick and easy. Made in Canada, not China.|
|Negatives||It may not be the best pick for very large or very small users because its seat doesn’t slide and only comes in one size. There are only two color options.|
Why A Chair?
Read a couple of our reviews and you’re sure to find us saying that sitting is the enemy and generally trying to convince you to sit less. So why are we reviewing an ergonomic office chair? We’re also realists.
While almost everyone should stand (and ideally also walk) more at their desk, it’s inevitable that some portion of your workday will be spent sitting. Standing or walking too much can also be harmful to your health and the most beneficial approach is to simply change positions often. It’s why doctors say “the best position is your next one.”
We’re all going to sit, the important thing is to sit in a way that takes the pressure off your backs and legs. And to not sit for too long at one stretch, of course.
iMovR is of course well known for its tech-forward active workstations (i.e. standing desks and treadmill desks) and specialized active seating (e.g. perching stools). They’ve finally entered the market with conventional ergonomic office chairs—including the Neemo we review here and the McHale we also reviewed—so we were eager to see how they compare to Herman Miller, Humanscale and other ergonomic chairs we’ve previously tested and are currently testing in our ergodynamics lab. If you’d like to see more ergonomic chair and active seating options, definitely check out our roundup of ergonomic chairs.
Adjustability is probably the most important feature of an ergonomic office chair, so this feels like the best place to start. There are two ways to achieve adjustability. The first is passive adjustment, like the Officemaster OM5, where the chair conforms to the user without many knobs or levers.
The second, and most common, is active adjustment, where a user must make their own tweaks to find the right position. As you can see from the Neemo’s levers and knob, it’s the second type.
One adjustability feature missing in the iMovR Neemo is a seat slide. Like most office chairs you’ll commonly find in retail office supplies stores or e-commerce marketplace listings the Neemo comes in only one seat size, but it is 20” x 20” so it will fit the vast majority of users.
No seat slide and a single seat size combine to mean that very large or very small users may want to consider iMovR’s McHale instead since it offers different seat sizes for those who really need the option. The one positive to not having a seat slide is that it makes the seat feel more stable because it’s one less moving part to shift as you move your body around.
Helping to make up for its lack of options in seat size, there are a host of adjustments in this chair, starting with seat height adjustment from 15.5” to 20” high.
The armrests can adjust up and down, and slide backward and forward to help you find the ideal position for your anthropometry. There is a trigger on the front of the armrest for vertical adjustment. Forward to backward adjustment works by simply sliding the armrest. The tension feels good, it won’t move accidentally when you move your arms but it’s not difficult to move either.
The lumbar support brace slides up and down to fit the curve of your spine. This alleviates any concern over the yielding mesh back. Users will sink into the mesh to some degree, normally resulting in slouching and back pain, but the lumbar support brace rests at the small of the user’s back and keeps a healthy curve in the spine at just the right spot.
The iMovR Neemo has a tilt lock and adjustable tilt tension. It also has an “ergo tilt” feature, allowing the seatback to recline and still maintain proper spinal alignment. The front edge of the seat stays at a fixed height (so you don’t cut off any circulation in that hotspot above the knees) while the back edge of the seat pan reclines downward and the seatback actually reclines at twice that angle. This all works in concert to support your back while you tilt back and leads to some very comfortable reclining.
The optional headrest adjusts up and down and pivots forward and backward. Note that this headrest cannot be added after the fact, so if you want one you need to specify it as part of your chair build at the time of order.
All of these may sound like minor factors but even small degrees of adjustment can make enormous ergonomic differences. Moving an armrest just a couple of inches up or down can bring your arms to a proper (90 degrees or greater) working angle, and prevent developing repetitive strain injury (RSI). It’s a fine line to walk between having great adjustability and having too many levers and knobs to learn. The iMovR Neemo manages to walk that line.
Comfort and Quality
The quality is clear after a few moments of sitting in the chair. The adjustments function smoothly, and nothing feels clunky. The parts fit together properly and snugly. The design is attractive. The whole thing has a light-weight, but solid feel. It is manufactured in a state-of-the-art seating factory in Canada, not a commodity factory in China like so many of the chairs being sold today.
The mesh back is soft, durable and breathable. The iMovR Neemo also has a “waterfall” seat edge design, which reduces pressure on the back of thighs and decreases circulatory impingement. You can tell by the heft of the chair, the precision manufacturing tolerances and the feel of the materials that it is built to last.
The Neemo arrives in a box that’s 32” x 26.25” x 20.5” and weighs 50 lbs, so you may want help to bring it inside and get it in place. Beyond that, assembly is very simple. Insert the chair back into the seat and fasten with three bolts. Then put the cylinder into the base and the seat into the cylinder.
Just a Few Options
When you look at those $1,000 and up, highly-customizable ergonomic office chairs on some websites you can quickly plow into The Paradox of Choice. Unless you’re a trained ergonomist or chair salesperson you may be flummoxed by having so many options to sort through.
Studies have even shown that users can be so intimidated by having 17 adjustment levers and knobs on their chairs that they may not actually bother to set them all properly, and instead remain seated in a less-than-ideal posture. For that reason, we’re not big fans of those chairs unless a) you have an anthropometry or medical condition that necessitates certain very specialized adjustment settings, and b) you have an expert on hand to help you get adjusted properly once the chair arrives. The other downside to having too many adjustments on a chair? More opportunity for parts to break.
The Neemo’s options list is short and sweet, making ordering one as simple as dining at a prix fixe restaurant. It comes standard in black with carpet casters. You can add dual-surface casters for $59 in case you also need to roll on wood floors, or upgrade to the “Birch” color scheme (gray seat and nickel mesh back) for $99. The Birch upgrade also adds dual-surface casters. Lastly, you can add the optional headrest for $75.
We found both types of caster to work smoothly and as a bonus, they both worked well on hybrid sit-stand chair mats because the wheels are fairly wide and don’t cut into the polyurethane material.
Office chairs vary wildly in quality and it doesn’t always line up with price, but a simple sign of quality is the warranty because it shows what the manufacturer thinks of their own product’s durability. Many chairs in this price range list a lifetime warranty, but then specify it’s only five years on foam and upholstery, which of course are the parts of a chair most likely to wear out quickly.
iMovR doesn’t play that hidden-limitations game with the Neemo and has a simple, 12-year comprehensive warranty that applies to usage up to 300 lbs. Considering this is the same warranty offered by Herman Miller for much more expensive chairs, this is one reason we gave this chair a 5-star rating on consumer value.
Well-built and comfortable, the iMovR Neemo is an excellent chair, especially for the money. If you’ll fit in the seat (and pretty much all users will), the Neemo has all the adjustability to allow you to fine-tune your chair without being difficult to use.