“Brisk Walk”?

oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
549
299
West Jordan, Utah
What exactly does Apple Watch use to determine credit for exercise? This morning I got one minute exercise credit for walking to the coffee pot and pouring a cup of coffee, but later, over an hours worth of shoveling snow got jack. My heart rate was solidly in zone 3 according to Garmin zones, but nothing. Does Apple Watch use zones, or do the use some arbitrary random number generator?
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,615
5,664
California
I’m no expert and have only had an Apple Watch for a year. Seems that anything under 120 bpm isn’t considered enough for Apple Watch to count as exercise for me. But I’ve had strenuous activities where it thought I was. But I can’t walk fast enough for it to count as exercise even at almost full speed.
 
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oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
549
299
West Jordan, Utah
I’m no expert and have only had an Apple Watch for a year. Seems that anything under 120 bpm isn’t considered enough for Apple Watch to count as exercise for me. But I’ve had strenuous activities where it thought I was. But I can’t walk fast enough for it to count as exercise even at almost full speed.
I have a little issue with that concept, I think we should be aware of a target heart rate, because as a 70 year old man, who's overweight, my "brisk walk" heart rate is going to be quite different from the 30 year old marathoner. Apple should do like virtually every other activity tracking device, going by at least zones that take into account your maximum heart rate, either estimated, or tested, and at least use the 10% divisions. For instance during my show shoveling, (5" by the way), my heart rate was consistently between 125-135 for the entire time, and for a while afterward. That is, for me, a solid zone 3, and would generate aerobic training load, with about half in the zone 4. But, Apple doesn't see it that way. I think if they want to be serious, they should at least let us decide where our zones are, and at what heart rate an activity qualifies as "exercise", or at least generates activity credit.
Yes, and I know I could have started an "other" activity, but what to call it then? LOL
 

user1234

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2009
604
347
Sweden
I had a hard time getting exercise minutes for walks the first couple of days of having the watch, but after about 30 minutes of walking with the outdoor walk workout it seems to have calibrated to my heartrate elevation and walking pace and I’m now getting my minutes while walking. I also got minutes showeling show one day.

Do you start an exercise when you walk?

”Get the most accurate measurements using your Apple Watch”
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207941


”Calibrating your Apple Watch for improved Workout and Activity accuracy”
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204516
 

oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
549
299
West Jordan, Utah
I had a hard time getting exercise minutes for walks the first couple of days of having the watch, but after about 30 minutes of walking with the outdoor walk workout it seems to have calibrated to my heartrate elevation and walking pace and I’m now getting my minutes while walking. I also got minutes showeling show one day.

Do you start an exercise when you walk?
Walking isn't the problem, I've done the "calibration" walk when I first got the watch, and the distance in malls is pretty close. The problem is that when I shoveled snow, and my heart rate was "up there", I got nothing for exercise credit, but when I poured coffee, I got a minute worth of credit. If I start an inside or outside walk, all seems well, I was just hoping I'd get credit for the snow shoveling, because there is no "activity" for shoveling snow. I did check, and I do have the part checked to ask if you're starting an activity, and it was enabled also. Oh well, not really a problem, just one more thing to watch out for if I want accuracy. :)
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,615
5,664
California
Walking isn't the problem, I've done the "calibration" walk when I first got the watch, and the distance in malls is pretty close. The problem is that when I shoveled snow, and my heart rate was "up there", I got nothing for exercise credit, but when I poured coffee, I got a minute worth of credit. If I start an inside or outside walk, all seems well, I was just hoping I'd get credit for the snow shoveling, because there is no "activity" for shoveling snow. I did check, and I do have the part checked to ask if you're starting an activity, and it was enabled also. Oh well, not really a problem, just one more thing to watch out for if I want accuracy. :)
I had to turn that off. I live in a three story complex. Being a heavier guy myself my watch was constantly asking me if I was exercising. Lol. But yeah, I can’t get it to count walks even at max speed. Runs - no problem. Apple Watch 3 gps only.
 

Cordorb

macrumors regular
May 8, 2010
210
47
MY BP meds can keep me in the 40 to 50 BPS range and many times the watch decides to double the rate so it seems to then give workout credit
(no extra beats in EKG - ) but jumping on a e-scooter for a few 100 M did up my score :)
 

user1234

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2009
604
347
Sweden
Walking isn't the problem, I've done the "calibration" walk when I first got the watch, and the distance in malls is pretty close. The problem is that when I shoveled snow, and my heart rate was "up there", I got nothing for exercise credit, but when I poured coffee, I got a minute worth of credit. If I start an inside or outside walk, all seems well, I was just hoping I'd get credit for the snow shoveling, because there is no "activity" for shoveling snow. I did check, and I do have the part checked to ask if you're starting an activity, and it was enabled also. Oh well, not really a problem, just one more thing to watch out for if I want accuracy. :)
I see. I also find it to sometimes be inconsistent. I sometimes get minutes when playing the organ, and sometimes not. There is however an "Other" activity you could use when shoveling snow. It will give you minutes, but possibly not in relation to the amount of effort you put in.
 
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neutrino23

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2003
1,699
203
SF Bay area
Exercise minutes do seem to be a bit mysterious. My wife and I have noticed similar results. When we were packing up the house for a move we got credit everyday for lots of calories but no exercise minutes. My wife bicycles but doesn’t get much credit for it. Maybe she rides too slowly.

I wonder if doing a workout gets you more credit than doing an activity without a workout? If you are doing something strenuous like moving furniture or shoveling snow you could try choosing a similar workout like indoor cycle or elliptical.

Also, setting your stats in the health app, height, weight, age, probably makes a difference.
 
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user1234

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2009
604
347
Sweden
Exercise minutes do seem to be a bit mysterious. My wife and I have noticed similar results. When we were packing up the house for a move we got credit everyday for lots of calories but no exercise minutes. My wife bicycles but doesn’t get much credit for it. Maybe she rides too slowly.

I wonder if doing a workout gets you more credit than doing an activity without a workout? If you are doing something strenuous like moving furniture or shoveling snow you could try choosing a similar workout like indoor cycle or elliptical.

Also, setting your stats in the health app, height, weight, age, probably makes a difference.
Doing a workout absolutely get you more credit. The heart rate sensor is continously active and keeps track of the heart rate, whereas when not doing a workout it’s just checking every few minutes. It’s likely that it would miss peaks in heartrate. It also uses a lot more battery but that’s another issue :D