Outside walk vs Indoor walk differences.

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by codelode84, Feb 4, 2017.

?

Which activity do you feel burns calories faster?

  1. indoor walk?

    18.8%
  2. outdoor walk?

    50.0%
  3. both the same?

    6.3%
  4. no clue?

    25.0%
  1. codelode84, Feb 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017

    codelode84 macrumors regular

    codelode84

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    #1
    I have noticed that it is much harder to get calories burned on outside walk and even for that matter exercise minutes. I also notice that when you reset the activity tracking and recalibrate it they are much closer in the beginning but the indoor always burns more calories after a few weeks again. Does anyone else notice this? I would love to know which one is more accurate? I would also state the intensity of my walks are the same at about 3-4 mph and I really get drastic differences.
     
  2. graley macrumors regular

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    Australia
    #2
    My guess repeat guess is that indoor walking usually involves a treadmill which you should set up at least 1.5 deg up to assist your back. So more cals burnt for same time. Treadmill does not exactly copy outdoor walk.
     
  3. codelode84 thread starter macrumors regular

    codelode84

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    #3
    That is an interesting thought. It gets very cold where I am in the winter so I ended up doing a lot of walking in the mall and at my work. I do find it weird though that recalibrating it causes it to go do for a while and then back up after that without having any other changes.
     
  4. bcave098 macrumors 6502

    bcave098

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    #4
    I do know that "Outdoor Walk" will only credit exercise minutes if you're walking at 3.3 mph or faster for the full minute. I'm not sure if it's different for "Indoor Walk".
     
  5. alexglee macrumors regular

    alexglee

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    #5
    I have been doing the Nike Sunday 5k runs/walks and every single time (with watch set to indoors), it is off the treadmill by at least 0.5km

    I go to a few different gyms, equipment is all different. Watch is the only consistent thing.
     
  6. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Atlanta
    #6
    Not enough information but but a few possibilities.

    • Is the :apple:Watch properly calibrated? https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204516
    • NRC+ is a running app and doesn't have a walking mode or algorithms. You would need to use the Workout app for walking.
    • Running on a treadmill is slightly different and many people alter their stride length/cadence ratio compared to outdoor.
     
  7. alexglee macrumors regular

    alexglee

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    #7

    All good points. If I use the Workout App, will the Nike app pick the distance up for its stats? I see the NRC does have the option to "read" walking and running distances in permissions of the Health app. This might be worth a test.
     
  8. codelode84 thread starter macrumors regular

    codelode84

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    #8
    IMG_4616.jpg IMG_4617.jpg I recently sent this letter to apple hoping this issue will be address it is really killing my experience with the watch.

    Hello,
    First off I want to tell you love Apple and nearly all of your products. For that matter I love the Apple Watch. But the exercise tracking has really be a pain point of my lately. I recently sent my Apple Watch in for repair b/c of this exact issue and now I realize it wasn’t my watch it must be something else. I do one main thing with my watch take it for walks inside and outside. I have tons of comparisons and the difference between the indoor and outdoor walks is really frustrating.
    I took this walk recently only a few days after calibrating my watch and the issue is nearly duplicated on my new watch. Please help…..
    The pictures I have included are my recent walks in the same place on my property during my nightly walk. I don’t know what to trust. The Outdoor walk came second in which I actually walked slightly slower but as you can see my heart rate was higher. The issue here is the calories 79 to 129? I simple don’t understand what is going on here. Keep in mind this is a brand new watch that has been properly calibrated.
    Thank you,
     
  9. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    Ventura County
    #9
    On average, indoor walking burns more calories for me because its more consistent. Even if I don't use an incline, it is a set speed for the entire duration. When I go on outdoor walks, I noticed that I don't maintain the same speed. A 2 mile walk outside is roughly 150 active calories, a 2 mile walk on the treadmill no incline is about 275 active calories. My pace is much more consistent and my heart rate is much higher on the treadmill.

    As to your photos. Just because the average heart rate is very similar, doesn't mean there aren't times of high spikes and low drops (possible misreadings) and that is enough to skew the data. You could have a 5 minute period of 180BPM and a 7 minute period of 80BPM. You will be burning massive amounts of calories in the 180BMP and possibly enough to outweigh the 80BPM by far.
     
  10. codelode84 thread starter macrumors regular

    codelode84

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    #10
    One note about this walk they were both done outside and I covered the exact same area for both walks. My issue is that something is wrong here with the tracking. The walks should have come out with very similar calorie numbers but as you can see they are drastically different and there is absolutely no reason for this except that I clicked indoor walk for one and outdoor walk for the other. This is ruining the experience and makes me feel like I can't trust the watch's data at all.
     
  11. Mlrollin91, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017

    Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #11
    Running an indoor walk outside is going to completely skew the data. The watch could get confused because of elevation tracking and what not. The only way to compare is to do a 1 mile indoor walk on a treadmill and a 1 mile outdoor walk outside. Try to maintain the most similar pace possible, maybe use a football track for the outdoor walk, so you can time the laps. I edited my above post with a possible explanation of why you are seeing this data. I will repost it here.

    "As to your photos. Just because the average heart rate is very similar, doesn't mean there aren't times of high spikes and low drops (possible misreadings) and that is enough to skew the data. You could have a 5 minute period of 180BPM and a 7 minute period of 80BPM. You will be burning massive amounts of calories in the 180BMP and possibly enough to outweigh the 80BPM by far."
    --- Post Merged, Feb 14, 2017 ---
    It could very well be what bcave mentioned above. Outdoor walks only give you true credit if you maintain 3.3mph for the entire 60 seconds. This refers to calories and exercise minutes, because it is looking for a brisk walk. Even though your pace is similar to the indoor walk, the indoor walk may automatically award you the credit no matter what your pace is after 60 seconds. So therefore, if you slow down outside, you lose some credit on the outdoor walk, but running an indoor walk outside will still give you that credit.

    I do indoor and outdoor walks on a regular basis, my indoor walks are always higher calorie count because if you look a the stats, my heart rate and pace are always higher and faster. But I am beginning to think it has something to do with the algorithm of the workout itself and how it counts it.
     
  12. codelode84 thread starter macrumors regular

    codelode84

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    #12
    After looking at my heart rate numbers in the health app updated more than once a minute for both walks I don't see any thing out of the normal which you describe. I can tell you this from all of my reviewing my data. The Outdoor walks consistently burn around 80 calories per miles. The indoor walks I do average 100 to 120. I will also state this most of my fastest paced walks are outside. Another thing I notice which is counter intuitive is that the slower I walk on an indoor walk the more calories are actively burned per mile walked. Maybe that is okay based on things I am reading but that doesn't explain the consistence of the outdoor walk calories burned no matter what my pace.
     
  13. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #13
    Well the discrepancy would be exactly what bcave mentioned earlier. Indoor walks have a different algorithm than outdoor walk and doesn't look for the 3.3mph average to give you full credit. And that seems to make perfect sense here.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 14, 2017 ---
    All I know is that all my outdoor walks are consistent and all my indoor walks are consistent. Every outdoor walk usually has a slower pace and lower average BPM compared to indoor and because if that, outdoor walk has a lower total calorie burn.
     
  14. codelode84 thread starter macrumors regular

    codelode84

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    #14
    I agree that it could be b/c of their algorithm but it surely needs work. When I am sweating on an outside walk barely burning a 80 calories per mile and then take a second walk later that is leisurely and burn 140 calories in a one mile walk. Something is drastically wrong. I think the problem is that outdoor walks don't burn enough calories and indoor walks at time burn the right amount but if you walk slow you are burning way too many. I almost wonder if it is just burning based on time rather than other factors on the indoor walks. I had a Fitbit surge that seemed way more consistant but didn't have all the other things I love about the Apple Watch. I have to say that I just don't trust it anymore and I am ready to jump ship back.

    One thing I will say that seems very accurate is the miles number. I do indoor and outdoor the miles are dead on no matter what.
     
  15. Mlrollin91, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017

    Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #15
    Well thats what the algorithm for indoor walk that we are speculating about. That it counts time, distance, pace and heart rate, meanwhile outdoor walk counts elevation, distance, pace and heart rate and only time if you maintain the 3.3mph level for the entire 60 seconds. I burn about 90 calories per mile outdoor and about 125 per mile indoor. So pretty similar to you. Which means its the intentional algorithm and indoor walk has a different criteria than outdoor walk.

    Try this:
    http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-e...ross-calorie-burn-conversion-calculator.shtml

    This is a gross calorie burn, enter your age, sex, average BPM and length of workout. Take the number it gives you and compare to your Total calories, not active calories. Which ever one is more accurate for you, only use that workout regardless if you are indoor or outdoor. Therefore you have consistency.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 14, 2017 ---
    Edit: My bad, wrong calculator. This is the right one...

    http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-e...eart-rate-based-calorie-burn-calculator.shtml

    You could try this one too: Designed just for walking. http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-exercise/calculators/walking-calorie-burn-calculator.shtml

    Essentially, just try to figure out what is the most accurate for you and go from there.
     
  16. codelode84 thread starter macrumors regular

    codelode84

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    #16
    Here is the thing I would question about these algorithm's. Why would you use different things to calculate calories burned between indoor and outdoor walks? Wouldn't you agree that the most important things would be age, weight, sex, heart rate, pace not necessarily in that order? Does elevation and distance really matter? The elevation and distance would be picked up by the heart rate and time. I would even wonder how important pace is. Maybe I am asking for too much. I just want something I can rely on and feel like I am losing the battle here. I agree should probably just stick to one but I just wish I new which one was the accurate one.
     
  17. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #17
    Use the calculators above and you will be able to determine which one is more accurate.
     
  18. codelode84 thread starter macrumors regular

    codelode84

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    #18
    The indoor seems more accurate if I have a good pace based on what I am seeing. Thank you. Which one do you feel is more accurate for you?
     
  19. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #19
    Based on my heart rate readings vs. length of workout and the calculators. I'm right in the middle of the two. My outdoor walk is a touch low, but my indoor walk is a touch high. So I will just continue to use both as I have been for the last almost 2 years. I really like the map I get from the outdoor walk. Its very useful as I train for a half marathon.
     
  20. Julien, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017

    Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #20
    3.3mph is an absolute number but we are dealing with relativities so unless you know the OP's age, sex, hight and weight and are also privy to Apple's algorithms (which none of use are) you can't calculate the OP's aerobic Zones. For the :apple:Watch to record as exercises you would need to be the Zone 1/Easy (aerobic exercise is broken into *5 zones) and anaerobic thresholds are completely relative to each individual. This means that 3.3mph is NOT a way of defining zone 1 for everyone. A 20 year old, 6'6" male that weighs 200 lbs will not use or have the same absolute anaerobic threshold as a 80 year old, 4'6" female that weighs 85 lbs.

    Her is a good article to help in understanding aerobic training zones and how they are relative (especially zone 1).

    http://shewhodaresruns.com/tag/training-zones/

    *There is a Zone 6 but it is only relative to highly conditioned athletes and rarely obtained and for only short durations (max HR, painful with rapid lactic acid build up).

    Here is a overly simplified chart that shows how the Zones vary greatly by age. It of course doesn't account for other variables like sex, wight & hight as the :apple:Watch dose (still generalized). If you really want to know your individual zones then you need to have a VO2 Max test.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. bcave098 macrumors 6502

    bcave098

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    #21
    But Apple has set the exercise credit for walking to 3.3 mph, regardless of other factors.
     
  22. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #22
    Source?
     
  23. bcave098 macrumors 6502

    bcave098

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    #23
    Ask Apple. It seems to be internal information that they only release when asked. This was discussed in another thread not so long ago.
     
  24. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #24
    He is correct, a brisk walk is 3.3mph. That is what is considered exercise.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 15, 2017 ---
    You are correct, but I ran a test last night. I sat on my bed, ran an outdoor walk and an indoor walk for 3 minutes each. I got 0 exercise minutes with the outdoor walk and 3 for the indoor walk. So either there is a bug, or indoor walk counts when you aren't moving at 3.3mph.
     
  25. Julien, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017

    Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #25
    [analogy]Everyone wears a size 9½ shoe. It may be average and it may work for you but it’s not universal.[/analogy]:eek:

    The official Apple statement is “a brisk walk” and this IS a relative term. So while Apple could give 3.3 mph as a plausible average answer it still is not universal.

    Assessing and using individual abilities and metrics is the most basic form of exercise physiology. All companies know this (even Apple). Heck even your mom’s aerobic instructor knows this.

    Now here is PROOF that Apple must and does use individual metrics and I will only use 2 metrics to prove it. But first a list of the metrics that Apple does use.
    • Sex
    • Age
    • Hight
    • Weight
    • MHR (estimated)
    • RHR (estimated)
    • HRR (estimated)
    Metrics that Apple doesn’t use that would make more accurate:
    • VO2 Max
    • Body Composition (fat to lean mass ratio)
    • MHR (measured)
    • RHR (measured)
    • HRR (measured)

    Using my previous examples but ONLY using age and hight metrics:

    A 20 year old 6’6” would have a stride length of about 78”x0.413=32.21” or 2.68’ stride. This is about 109 SPM at 3.3 mph.

    Walking at 3.3 mph at 109 SPM and is a leisurely pace and would not likely elevate a 20 year olds HR to 100bpm. The minimum considered exercise.


    A 74 year old 4’6” would have a stride length of about 54”x0.413=22.3” - 12% (elderly reduction in length) 19.62” or 1.64’ stride. This is about 161 SPM at 3.2 mph.

    On the other hand walking at 3.2 mph at 161 SPM is an extremely demanding cadence (runners average 180 SPM cadence for reference) for a 75 yer old it would likely put them in Zone 2 or Zone 3 but is still below the mystical 3.3 mph threshold.​

    Again one size (shoe) doesn’t fit all. This is just basic science, facts and stats that MUST be followed.
     

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