In this paper, the method of noncontact monitoring of cardiorespiratory activity by electromagnetic coupling with human tissue is investigated. Two measurement modalities were joined: an inductive coupling sensor based on magnetic eddy current induction and a capacitive coupling sensor based on displacement current induction. The system's sensitivity to electric tissue properties and its dependence on motion are analyzed theoretically as well as experimentally for the inductive and capacitive coupling path. The potential of both coupling methods to assess respiration and pulse without contact and a minimum of thoracic wall motion was verified by laboratory experiments. The demonstrator was embedded in a chair to enable recording from the back part of the thorax.