Explain like i’m 5: Apple watch calorie analysis/activity tracker

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by iFanaddic, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. iFanaddic macrumors 6502a

    iFanaddic

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #1
    My mom has been asking me these questions about her apple watch like most former fitbit users she tracks her day the number of step she takes and has been finding it very hard to adapt to calories burned instead (we know steps are also available but no way to set goal)


    She has a physical job (mail lady) so she tends to turn on the activity tracker in ether “outside walk” or “other” mode. She does her full shift on that mode, i obviously told her this was not how it was meant to be used because that’s her “regular day” and not extra activity activity (green bar).


    My explanation sounded like this “activity tracker leaves the heart sensors ON instead looking every five minutes or so”...”if you tell your watch you are working when you are in fact between adresses your messing up your stats”....”plus in drains your battery so much”


    Her response was “no matter if it reads my heartbeat every five minutes or every second I shouldn’t be getting such big differences in my activity rings by just switching “ON” on the activity mode, if it reads my heart more often because its always on it should realize i’m at rest until I get physical again.” “My reading should be similar whether or not activity ON or not” Which sounds like a fair point. I was without arguments I told her i’d look it up.


    So who’s right me or her? How would you put it simple for her? I’m out of arguments.

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  2. Rok73 macrumors 65816

    Rok73

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #2
    I find it hard to make out what the actual question is. Anything from a brisk walk up to a marathon or whatever can be considered training. If you have a job that mainly consists of walking a lot why not measure it. However, yes - it will drain the battery very fast because of the constant heartbeat measuring.
     
  3. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #3
    Take all readings with a grain of salt.

    Use the numbers only as a guide as Apple and the other MFGs can not tell you exactly how many calories you are burning, it is just a guess using algorithms.
     
  4. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #4
    Is the question, "Why is there such a difference in calorie results between 'Outside Walk' and 'Other'?"
     
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #5
    IIRC, Activity uses motion (not heart rate) to progress the Exercise ring.

    Maybe this will help (expand to read the last paragraph):
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204517

    The biggest example of the difference between how the Activity app and Exercise apps work for me is when I mow my lawn, which takes about an hour.

    If I rely on the Activity app, it gives me very few minutes of credit towards Exercise (despite the fact my heart rate is 125+ for that hour) simply because my arms aren't swinging (because they're pushing the mower).

    When I use the Exercise app and mow the lawn, it uses GPS and heart rate sensor, and I get sixty minutes of of credit (towards Exercise).
     
  6. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #6
    What I think the OP is asking is, why is his mom getting different results when she uses "Other" versus "Outdoor Walk" for logging her workouts?

    But I'm not sure if that's the actual question. Waiting for the OP to come back and restate it more clearly.
     
  7. iFanaddic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iFanaddic

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #7
    I apologize if I wasn’t clear.

    What we are wondering, is why a regular day without the exercise app VS a regular day with the exercise app will give you such different calorie readings (red ring) of course the green one will be high (expected) but shouldnt the red ones be somewhat similar?

    My moms work involves a lot of walking and going up and down flights of stairs but also sitting in her car between adresses should she use the exercise app or just let the watch do its thing?
     
  8. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #8
    Ah, ok --

    Yeah, what others have said is true. When the exercise app is used, the watch figures that the workout is leaning towards Active calorie burn. Otherwise, it's figuring that the wearer is just doing incidental physical movement, and won't count walking a mail route as any more stringent than walking around an office building.

    When I had a more physical job, I didn't bother using Workout unless I was actually working out. But on non-workout days, the watch still gave me credit for all my steps (usually between 15,000-25,000) and I reached the Move goal (the red ring) almost every time.
     
  9. ZebraDude macrumors 6502a

    ZebraDude

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Location:
    Naperville, IL
    #9
    Use the Activity app on your Apple Watch
    With the Activity app on your Apple Watch, you can track how much you move, exercise, and stand from day to day.


    [​IMG]


    If you wear your Apple Watch throughout the day, Activity can automatically track your daily movements. You can check your progress, meet goals, and customize notifications. To get started, just open the app on your Apple Watch and enter some information about yourself.


    See an overview
    [​IMG]

    Tap the Activity app on the Home screen of your Apple Watch to see an overview of your progress.


    Get the details
    [​IMG]

    Swipe up to see details for each ring. Swipe up again to see more, like how far you've gone that day.

    Change the goal
    [​IMG]

    In the Activity app, firmly press any screen to change your daily Move goal. You can adjust only this goal.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Move
    The Move ring shows how many active calories you've burned so far. Complete your daily Move goal by burning active calories every day. Active calories, unlike resting, are ones that you burn by standing or moving around.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Exercise
    The Exercise ring shows how many minutes of brisk activity you've completed so far. Complete your daily Exercise goal by exercising for at least 30 minutes each day. Learn how to meet your exercise goal.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stand
    The Stand ring shows hours in which you've stood and moved for at least a minute. Complete your daily Stand goal by standing up and moving around for at least 1 minute during 12 different hours in the day. Even if you stand all day, you still need to move around. If you've specified that you use a wheelchair, the Stand ring switches to the Roll ring. Roll shows hours in which you’ve pushed around for at least 1 minute.

    [​IMG]

    Earn Exercise and Move credit
    Every full minute of movement that equals or exceeds the intensity of a brisk walk counts toward your daily Exercise and Move goals. For wheelchair users, this is measured in brisk pushes. Any activity below this level counts only toward your daily Move goal.

    Make sure that you earn Exercise credit during walks by allowing the arm with your Apple Watch to swing naturally. For example, while walking your pet, let the arm with your watch swing freely while the other holds the leash.

    If you need both hands while walking, for example to push a stroller, you can still earn Exercise credit by using the Workout app. The Activity app relies on arm motion and an accelerometer to track movement, but the Workout app can use the accelerometer, a heart rate sensor, and the GPS on your iPhone if you carry it with you. Open the Workout app on your Apple Watch, tap Outdoor Walk, and bring your iPhone on the walk.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Share your activity
    Stay motivated by sharing your activity with your family, friends, or trainer. When your friends meet all three Activity goals, finish workouts, or earn achievements, you get notifications about their progress.

    To get started, add your friends. After you add friends, open the Activity app, then swipe left. Tap a friend to see their stats for the day. You can even send a message to all your friends.

    [​IMG]

    Set notifications and view your complete Activity history
    Use your iPhone to set up notifications and reminders or to check your Activity history.

    [​IMG]

    In the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap the My Watch tab, then tap Activity. Choose your notifications and reminders.


    [​IMG]

    To see your complete Activity history, go to the Activity app on your iPhone.

    [​IMG]

    Tap a tab to see details about your all day activity, workouts, and achievements.


    If you don't see the Activity app on your iPhone, restart your iPhone and check again. The Activity app appears only after you pair your iPhone and Apple Watch.
     
  10. iPhysicist macrumors 6502a

    iPhysicist

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Location:
    Dresden
    #10
    'Other' does always add a minimum of x cal burned per Minute to your "walking" workout. Even if your at rest or sleeping. You can try that yourself. Other is the way to go if your active with little chance for the watch to track it precisely otherwise. Your mom is doing brisk walks during her shift. The watch would be more accurate with the walking workout but even this would be biased with higher overall activity. While you do an active walk I would say your movements are different from a leisure walk or even brisk walk.
     
  11. kohlson macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #11
    In my experience, turning on Other, the activity measurements just go into "auto count" mode. In Outdoor Walk mode, Exercise is severely undercounted.
     
  12. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Location:
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    #12
    This guy is spot on. "other" will count her exercise even while sitting in the car. "outdoor walk" should be more accurate, because it uses some algorithm with HR involved, but it will screw up the distances because it will think you are walking while driving in the car (I would presume). Also would drain the battery even MORE because using GPS. If she insists on activating a workout I would think "indoor walk" would actually be the best option, because it doesn't use your GPS (less battery drain and doesn't track your movements in the car).

    HOWEVER, I would advise her against using a workout at all. 1) It drains the battery 2) regardless of "mode" it will over count calories simply because the watch is thinking you are working out. Not activating a workout will get the most accurate results and not drain the battery. It's still gonna count all her steps and even fill her green ring as long as she's walking at a brisk pace.
     

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