Series 3 suddenly not counting exercise minutes

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by fstevens, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. fstevens macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #1
    I walk on a treadmill every morning, pretty much the same speed and length of time every day and my Series 3 had been pretty consistent in terms of exercise minutes - 40 minutes on the treadmill results in around 36 exercise minutes, for example. But the last two mornings, fewer minutes were counted as “exercise” - just 22 yesterday and 9 today. The distance measured is consistent with previous measurements. I restarted my watch after yesterday’s low measurement (I do that about every day anyway) but it was actually worse today. Watch o/s is current. Has any one else experienced anything like this? The watch, of course, is well out of warranty.
     
  2. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #2
    Couple of questions.

    1. Are you wearing it on the same wrist?
    2. Are you holding onto something with the AW wrist?
    3. Are your HR readings consistent between the normal walks and the more recent "bad" walks?
    4. Are you wearing your AW tight enough?
    5. Are your height and weight data correct? Sometimes (don't know why) it changes to something ridiculous.

    Here are some suggestions. Go out for an outdoor walk using the GPS. A 20 minute walk at your exercise pace should be enough to reset the calibration. Maybe even delete the current calibration data before re-calibrating.

    You mentioned that the distance is consistent, and I presume the duration is consistent too. That should mean your average pace is consistent. I would check to make sure that the average pace is consistent. If not, that could answer your question.
     
  3. fstevens thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for your response and suggestions.
    1. Yes, on the same wrist.
    2. No, not holding onto anything with the AW wrist.
    3. HR readings are consistent.
    4. I change bands every week or two, and have been wearing this band on the same hole for the last week and a half or so. It definitely doesn’t slip around, so I think it’s tight enough.
    5. This is something that didn’t occur to me at all, but my height and weight are still the same.

    I went for outdoor walks the last two days, short walks around 20 minutes. The distance, calories and exercise minutes on the outdoor walks are consistent with previous outdoor walks and HR and pace was consistent with indoor walks. I can try deleting calibration data, but I may try the unpairing and repairing voodoo first (as it isn’t a good day for an outdoor walk here to recalibrate anyway).
     
  4. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    Un-pairing and then re-pairing an AW gets rid of calibration data. So you ought to wait for a good weather day before doing that.

    Also keep in mind that there are separate calibration data for walking and running. un/re-pair kills both sets of calibration data.
     
  5. fstevens thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #5
    I did. It know this about calibration data, or, to be honest, that you could delete this data, never needed to think about it before. The weather cleared up yesterday after all so I deleted calibration data and went for an outdoor walk. The exercise minutes from my indoor walk this morning were consistent with previous indoor walks so this seems to have fixed the problem. Thank you!
     
  6. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    #6
    Did you recently update your watch? My series 4 is exhibiting this same behavior and I updated last week. I just did a treadmill walk and it took over 40 minutes in the workout app to accrue 24 minutes of exercise. Prior to updating my minutes always correlated.

    Perhaps I will try repairing and do an outside walk.
     
  7. fstevens thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #7

    I thought about the possibility of an update causing this, but it had probably been at least a week since I installed the last update. For the record, I didn’t need to repair, just deleted the calibration data. Hopefully this fix lasts longer than a single day!
     
  8. fstevens thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #8
    Turns out that deleting calibration data wasn’t a permanent fix. While the exercise minutes for an outdoor walk are consistent with what I had seen in the past, only 4 out of 45 minutes on the treadmill this morning were counted as exercise, although my average heart rate is nearly the same as during a 50 minute outdoor walk yesterday, when 45 minutes were counted as exercise. Same band both times, with the pin in the same hole. I’ll try tightening it next time although I don’t understand why that would suddenly be necessary.
     
  9. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    #9
    So I figured out that my minutes were off because I had sunscreen residue on my arm from earlier in the day. I cleaned the back of the watch really well and haven't had any more issues.
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    Here's a public service announcement regarding the AW and sunscreen.

    Sunscreen can/will destroy the integrity of the seals on the AW. Repeated exposure to sunscreen will lessen the water resistance of the AW.

    When you put on sunscreen, make sure you let it absorb into your wrist for a few minutes before putting the AW back on. I'm not advocating skipping on sunscreen on your wrist, but let it dry and absorb so that the goop doesn't get onto the AW.

    I think the warranty speaks to the effects of sunscreen and how it will void your warranty. Too lazy to search at the moment.

    EDIT - I couldn't resist. I did a google and found this.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205000

    third bullet point.
     
  11. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    #11
    Thank you. I don't swim/bathe/shower with my watch on, but will take note of the sunscreen rule. I'm not a huge sunscreen wearer to begin with, but we were in the Caribbean for a week and I'm super fair skinned, so it was a necessity. I will take caution going forward! :)
     
  12. minimo3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #12
    One thing to note about the Apple Watch's exercise measurements is that, as you more, they will change over time. So the same activities that would potentially help you close your Exercise ring when you first got your Apple Watch may only get you part of the way there after months or even years of consistent activity. The Apple Watch learns your habits, and will consistently push you to go further.
    Source: https://www.imore.com/apple-watch-and-activity-tracking-what-you-need-know
     
  13. fstevens thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #13
    I haven’t been using sunscreen all winter, and clean my watch every week or two. That, and the fact that outdoor walk measurements are consistent with past outdoor walks, make it seem unlikely that there is something preventing the sensors from reading properly.

    I tightened up the band one notch when I walked this morning. It wasn’t all that comfortable, but it resulted in exercise minutes being counted pretty much as expected.

    I had not realized that Apple Watch would basically make exercise harder, so thanks for that info, minimo3. I don’t know how happy I am about that, as a woman in my mid-50’s who isn’t all that excited about exercise. Is it going to expect me to work towards running a marathon in my 60’s?
     
  14. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    #14
    I’m not sure the exercise minutes should stop counting. If you use the workout app all the minutes should count.

    Now, the special monthly challenges *do* get harder or easier depending on your previous month’s activity level. So I think in that regard that statement from the article is true. But I have closed my rings every day for the past 515 days and the only time I had trouble with exercise minutes from a workout not counting was last week, which I resolved with cleaning the back.

    That article was not from Apple and was rather vague. I’ve never seen that mentioned anywhere else.
     
  15. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #15
    On outdoor walks, the Exercise Minutes will only count if you're walking at a "brisk pace". That definition will depend on you, but generally, it's around 3.5 mph with an elevated HR. The outdoor walk will not register Exercise Minutes when you walk slower than a "brisk pace".

    If you use an "Other" workout, you'll get Exercise Minutes for every minute that the workout is running, but you'll lose the metrics for that walk, which includes the map.

    Lastly, make sure your metrics are set-up properly. Put in your height, weight, age and gender. I'm guessing here, but I would imagine that whatever pace/HR is required for a "brisk pace" is affected by your baseline stats.
     

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14 April 17, 2019