Exercise counts to generously

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Moments89, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Moments89 macrumors newbie

    Moments89

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    #1
    Hey there,

    Last Saturday I bought my Apple Watch. I'm very happy with it but I noticed that it counts even normal walking as exercise. I thought it needed to be a "brisk walk or more" to count for your exercise minutes. That's in fact a little discouraging because it doesn't motivate me to go for a run after work. With around 15 minutes walk to and from work I already earn all the minutes. Here is what that looks like.

    Any idea how I can get to not track standard walking as exercise?
     

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  2. Ghost31 macrumors 68000

    Ghost31

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #2
    Walking is considered exercise when you're at a decent speed and keeping a good pace. Walking is considered exercise because it is exercise. It's not like it's a bug of the Apple Watch or something
     
  3. testcard, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016

    testcard macrumors 68020

    testcard

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    Middle England
    #3
    Slow down and take smaller steps ;)
    I tend to walk everywhere "briskly" and that usually counts as exercise for me.
     
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #4
    AW doesn't count walking as exercise unless your HR accelerates to the point you are exercising. If your HR stays "normal" for your age then it just calculates it as walking.

    But if you run then you also understand that being in HR Zone 2 is not the same as being in Zone 3 or 4. It's all exercising, but at different results for you heart and body. So why a walk would discourage you from running seems odd. But if you need more motivation I think you can adjust your daily goal upward. Or you can adopt you own personal goal of running x distance every day or week.
     
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors G5

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #5
    What was your heart rate during your walk. That is what determines exercise. If one we very obese, even the slowest walk would be considered exercise while a very fit person would have to do much more to elevate their HR.
     
  6. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #6
    I am curious about the conflict between Apple's claim that the watch only takes an HR reading when the arm is not in motion versus claiming that it watches HR during normal activities to credit it as exercise. If the first claim is true, then unless the watch is in a workout mode, it is unlikely that the AW is using HR to determine exercise.

    Personally, I think that Apple is full of BS about what the watch is doing for activity tracking. I suspect that it is merely hitting a minimum cadence threshold to decide whether or not a walk counts as exercise.
     
  7. Volusia macrumors regular

    Volusia

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #7
    I am having the opposite issue. As a heart failure patient I take medications to keep my heart rate (HR) on the lower side. I do walks in 30 minute segments but my HR will generally stay low due to the meds. After doing a 30 minute walk at a brisk pace (for me) I generally get between one and three minutes credit in the exercise ring.
     
  8. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #8
    I have not heard or read that claim and its counter to my own experience. It also seems a bit implausible because you'd have to be sedentary for the HRM to work. When are arms not moving when in motion?

    I don't use AW for "real" exercise myself b/c optical HRM isn't quick or accurate enough for dependable HR Zone monitoring -- I wear a Garmin w/ chest strap for running. But I have played with the Activity app. It must incorporate HR when determining exercise because it only counts my "exercise" minutes once I get into high 90s based on the Health app log. I'm walking around all day but it rarely counts any of it because walking at my normal 4 mph pace isn't going to get my HR anywhere near the 90s. My resting HR is between 55-60. My normal pace walking HR is around 70.

    As for what Apple is doing w/ activity tracking, it's no different than any other activity band. I've owned a Fuel Band and a few Fitbits. All fairly similar in function and accuracy. If they get people off the couch they are amazing devices, not BS. I was a total lazy bone sloth until I slapped a Fuel Band on my wrist a few years ago. Started walking 5 miles a day. Eventually my pace got to the point where I started jogging instead. Eventually I traded in my activity band for a running watch and I run 20 miles a week.
     
  9. Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    #9
    Yep, same here I always walk briskly and keep up a good pace no matter where I'm going. I fill the exercise ring way too easily.
     
  10. silvetti macrumors 6502a

    silvetti

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Location:
    Poland
    #10
    My Watch most of the times thinks that while I'm driving I'm actually walking because it logs steps, for a 2 hour drive it logs me around 500 steps.
    One would think that the Watch should be able to check that the Phone is connected to car bluetooth and not count steps but it doesn't :(

    The phone already does something similar, the same way if you get to the car and bluetooth connects it will immediately suggest directions to your home.
     
  11. exxxviii, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016

    exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #11
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204666 "Since Apple Watch only takes this background reading when you're still, the time between these measurements will vary. "

    This has been true since OS2 (I think). Before OS2, the AW took an HR reading every 10 minutes regularly. With OS2, it would skip a reading if you were in motion. Then, in a later release, it would get a reading late if you were in motion on the 10-minute schedule.

    I think Apple's determination of exercise (when not in Workout mode) is BS, not devices that help get you off the couch. I cannot find it now, but somewhere a while ago, I think Apple said it used HR to determine exercise. Now, the support page says it just uses motion.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204517 "Make sure you earn Exercise credit during walks by allowing the arm with your Apple Watch to swing naturally... The Activity app relies on arm motion and an accelerometer to track movement."

    RE optical HRM for "real" exercise, check out the Scoche Rhythm+. It works great for all but the most intense intervals. I dumped my Garmin chest strap for a Rhythm+, and I am never going back. I think it is more fair to say that some wrist-based optical HRM devices may not be effective for some users. There are people using wrist HRM very effectively for intense exercise. I am thinking about pulling the trigger on a Garmin 735XT so I can drop the external HRM while running. (I am an endurance athlete who logs more than 10 hours/week in intense multi-discipline exercise. I am active on a couple endurance forums with people who are hyper about product performance, especially HRM.)
     
  12. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #12

    Yeah, I think you are picking and choosing to support your position. The very first sentence of the paragraph of the page you reference states: (Italics for emphasis)

    You can check your heart rate any time using the Heart Rate Glance. And when you're using the Workout app, Apple Watch measures your heart rate continuously during the workout.

    My reading of the page you sent me to says AW only takes background HR when still. But when there is real activity going on HRM becomes more active.
     
  13. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    #13
    Most complain that the Apple Watch is too low on exercise. However fast walkers like myself get credit for exercise while others do not or don't move their arms. Maybe walking a dog
     
  14. exxxviii, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016

    exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #14
    No, those are independent use cases. The HR Glance turns on the HRM for about 15 seconds. Workout turns on the HRM continuously until you end the workout. Absent either of those two scenarios, the watch only takes an HR reading every 10 minutes, while not in motion. And, it uses a different, lower energy, HR LED sensor as well. So, assuming that you are walking without using the HR Glance and without using the Workout app, the watch will probably not take an HR reading.

    The second section I quoted supports the first about capturing exercise. The statement about using motion and the accelerometer to identify exercise is contrasting the prior sentence that says it uses HR to determine exercise while in Workout mode. (I omitted this sentence with the ellipses.)
     
  15. bgrace macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #15
    Same thing with my new Apple Watch. I get exercise credit for normal walking (by no means "brisk") around the house or office. Is the exercise tracking supposed to get more accurate over time?
     
  16. iF34R macrumors 6502a

    iF34R

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #16
    They way I deal with the possibility of it not tracking exercise/walking, etc. is to make sure to exercise per the goal, and not track it. What I mean is, if I have a 30min goal, then I will specifically exercise for 30 minutes or more, and not rely on the count it's been taking throughout the day.

    I could be doing other things and it counts as exercise, but that's not what I focus on. I focus on specifically hitting the goal, or passing it. Today, for example, I walked 3 miles. My goal was 2 miles for distance, and exercise was a 30 min. goal. I went three miles and 50 minutes. I didn't look at how much I had already done earlier.
     
  17. bgrace macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #17
    I have been doing that too, but it shouldn't be necessary. If Apple Watch had a higher threshold for exercise activity (perhaps 10 minutes of continuous movement vs. 1 minute currently), I think it would be much more accurate at awarding true exercise credit. As a comparison, Fitbit devices don't give you exercise minutes until you hit 10 minutes of activity.
     
  18. iF34R macrumors 6502a

    iF34R

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #18
    I don't get exercise credit for simply walking around. I can walk to the mail box and back, takes about 2 minutes, and not get exercise credit for that. The other hand, I was up and about for about 10 minutes and got three minutes credit.
     
  19. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #19
    I never get credit for normal walking. Of course, normal for me is not normal for others as I walk using a crutch. Moving the crutch doesn't count as arm swings either. (It should!)
     

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