One thing I don't understand about Activity

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Khalanad75, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Khalanad75 macrumors 6502

    Khalanad75

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    land of confusion
    #1
    I love my apple watch. So glad I was able to snag one of the cheap AW series 0 from Best Buy.

    But what I don't understand is, what does it actually count as an "active minute"?

    I used activity to track a 42 minute bike ride this weekend, and it tracked as 11 active minutes. I took a bike ride with my kids to father in laws which took 25 minutes, and it tracked 2 active minutes. Even playing an hour of racquetball last Friday, I have not been able to hit the 30 active minute daily goal.

    I honestly don't understand that ring and wish I could turn it off or have that ring track something else, like steps.

    P.S. I don't think this is particular to the AW but to fitness trackers. Used to have the same issue with my fitbit flex way back when, but I just turned that off in the app.
     
  2. nicho macrumors 68000

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    Feb 15, 2008
    #2
    do you mean you used the workout app? or you just passively relied on it to track you?
     
  3. Khalanad75 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Khalanad75

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    #3
    Sorry, yes the workout app. Still new to the watch.
     
  4. nicho macrumors 68000

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    #4
    in that case... it doesn't think you're working hard enough!

    what workout do you use for racquetball?
     
  5. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    #5
    I find it always gives me credit for every minute when I'm running, but doesn't if I'm playing squash. I think it uses a combination of arm movement and heart rate to determine if what you're doing is enough to increase the ring
     
  6. Khalanad75 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Khalanad75

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    #6
    I actually didn't use one. I just played and let it take my heartrate and steps.
     
  7. btrach144 macrumors 65816

    btrach144

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    Aug 28, 2015
    #7
    make sure to calibrate it by doing a 20 minute outdoor walk with your phone and ensure it has gps. I've found that other workouts such as stationary bike seem to become more accurate.

    Also, make sure that when going on your 20 minute walk that you walk at a slow walk. I'm a fast walker by default and I messed up my activity minutes by calibrating my watch while fast walking. This means I set the bar high and would have had to run everywhere just to try and get my activity minutes. I deleted the calibration data and redid it as a slow walk and now I actually earn minutes.
     
  8. Khalanad75 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Khalanad75

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    #8

    Ahh, I didn't know about calibrating it.
     
  9. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #9
    Apple is not very explicit on how the watch counts minutes. When you are not using workout, Apple does explicitly state that the watch will not take an HR reading while you are in motion. So, this has two consequences. First, if you do an activity without starting a workout, you may go the whole time without a HR reading. And second, it indirectly means that the only metric the AW can use for minutes is arm movement, or steps per minute. Therefore, if you have not started a workout and it is not counting minutes, then it means you are not moving enough.

    If you start a workout, folks here are generally theorizing that the AW is using a combination of movement rate and HR to count minutes. So, if you are not raising your HR enough in the opinion of the AW, it will not count the minutes. But, we honestly do not know.
     
  10. nicho macrumors 68000

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    Feb 15, 2008
    #10
    they say it won't be recorded. that doesn't mean it won't *take* one.

    doing the exact same walk (without running a workout on either occasion) at exactly the same pace (to within about 15 seconds) on separate days, one day i got 5m of exercise and the other 20. the difference was the heat - one day was sweltering, therefore i was hot and sweaty and my HR was much higher.
     
  11. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #11
    That is a very interesting theory. It would be nice if the watch used HR, even if it did not store the reading, as a measure for exercise. If true, it would be nice if Apple explained this a bit more.
     
  12. nicho macrumors 68000

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    Feb 15, 2008
    #12
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204666

    i believe it's the second, non green light sensors which are always active and used to detect "exercise" outside of a workout - but they're not accurate enough to record an actual reading, they just detect perceived rises and falls. i think. i dont have time to research IR sensors at the mo
     
  13. CaptMarvel macrumors 65816

    CaptMarvel

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    Sep 20, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #13
    The rule of thumb I use is if I know I'm doing a dedicated workout whether it be cycling, running or walking...I track it through the workout app.

    For all other things, I just let the Apple Watch do it's own thing. From my understanding when not tracking using the Workout App you accrue minutes to this ring anytime by a culmination of factors, how much you're moving, steps and HR after you stop moving.
     
  14. tivoboy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    #14
    With OS3 there is a different threshold (maybe it was already there in Os2) for how high ones HR needs to be (even when doing an actual workout) for it to be counted as activity in the activity rings. When I was recovering, I was walking only about 3mph maybe a tad slower and actually tracking a workout, and it wouldn't really show up in my activity minutes for the day at all - even a 45 minute walk since the HR was too low
     

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