Weekly move goal suggestion algorithm and how it works!

Adnanw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
13
1
Australia
Dear MR posters and readers, need some advice/opnion about apple watch weekly move goal suggestion.

My last weeks daily move goal was 920KJ, I beat it everyday - 7 days out of 7, burnt 8857KJ in total, daily average 1265KJ, steps taken 28,446 and distance travelled 19.07kms.
Now today when the new week starts, AW suggesting me to set daily 880KJ for this week.

This is not the first time this is happening. My daily goal was set more than 1000KJ few weeks back and every week AW suggested me to decrease my daily move goals and now I have reached 880KJ. Most of the time I have ignored its suggestion and increased my daily move goal than what it suggests. I do not know what will happen if I keep accepting its suggestion.

How watch OS suggest daily goals from the last weeks performance? What algorithm it is using?
And what suggestion you people are getting?

It would be helpful to many, if you can contribute here what you think. Thank you.
 

chino-rican

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
175
72
Virginia
Something must be off. From what I've seen on mine, I'll get a suggestion based on my activity level. If I've been hitting or exceeding my goal, it suggests increasing for the following week. If I've been missing it, it goes down. Depending on how much higher or lower, my watch recommends the new goal proportionately.

Again, looks like it's not working right for you.
 

oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
549
299
West Jordan, Utah
Or, perhaps, you're overreaching? Apple watch, while it doesn't show it, I believe counts your recovery time, and if you're too far over recovery, your health, and ability tends to decrease. Maybe your watch is telling you to slow down for a week, you need it?
 
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Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
14,917
Jacksonville, Florida
I just watch my number with "a grain of salt" as ever since I got my AW4 the exercise numbers have been way to generous while not changing any of my habits. I am still on a Move streak that started the day I got my AW4. Made me loose some faith in it's accuracy and I have calibrated it multiple times.
 

chino-rican

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
175
72
Virginia
Or, perhaps, you're overreaching? Apple watch, while it doesn't show it, I believe counts your recovery time, and if you're too far over recovery, your health, and ability tends to decrease. Maybe your watch is telling you to slow down for a week, you need it?
Seems unlikely. Remember, a KJ is about 1/4 of a calorie. So the OPs average of 1265KJ is about 300 calories for us. IMO, hardly worthy of needing to slow down. Am I wrong?
 

Adnanw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
13
1
Australia
Seems unlikely. Remember, a KJ is about 1/4 of a calorie. So the OPs average of 1265KJ is about 300 calories for us. IMO, hardly worthy of needing to slow down. Am I wrong?
No you are not wrong. I do not think I am doing anything extra to reach my move goal. I barely finish my green circle from 0. So the calorie I am achieving according to apple watch is not a high number to slow down. But still every week it is suggesting me to decrease my daily move goal. Most of the time I do not accept the suggestion and I increase instead. But this time around I am going to watch how far it suggest me to keep going down and when it settles.

I shall keep updating you guys what it is suggesting me.
 

friednoodles

Suspended
Feb 4, 2014
601
802
Also remember that it takes your height and weight into consideration when suggesting move goals. What's your height and weight, and are they entered correctly in Health?
 

chino-rican

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
175
72
Virginia
Also remember that it takes your height and weight into consideration when suggesting move goals. What's your height and weight, and are they entered correctly in Health?
I'm not sure if this is true. According to the guide below, those factors are used to calculate calories burned, but not for suggesting move goals. The first goal is suggested when you choose your activity levels while initially setting up the watch. Subsequent goals are based on the previous week's activity.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207941
 
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friednoodles

Suspended
Feb 4, 2014
601
802
It uses them for the things they list, yes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t use them for anything else.

I would be very surprised if it wasn’t making suggestions based on your previous week’s activity and your BMI so that it isn’t suggesting a goal that is potentially unhealthy.

For example, if your BMI is higher than it should be, I suspect it’s designed to suggest goals that encourage you to burn more energy, while taking into account whether you did or didn’t hit your previous week’s goal.

Similarly if your BMI is lower than it should be, I suspect it’ll suggest lower goals while also considering what you did last week.

It shouldn’t suggest a 2000kJ goal to someone who’s 165cm tall and weighs 50kg, regardless of whether they did 2000kJ every day the week before. It’s not going to continually encourage higher goals if that results in worsening an already below average BMI or if you’ve already done hours of exercise per day, for example.
 

chino-rican

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
175
72
Virginia
I would be very surprised if it wasn’t making suggestions based on your previous week’s activity and your BMI so that it isn’t suggesting a goal that is potentially unhealthy.
Interesting. However, if that's the case, then I would think it would periodically ask you for your current weight, since that can fluctuate and affect BMI. Especially if you've been working out a lot, and presumably losing some weight along the way.
 

Adnanw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
13
1
Australia
Also remember that it takes your height and weight into consideration when suggesting move goals. What's your height and weight, and are they entered correctly in Health?
Yes my height, weight are all set up during setting up iPhone, from where watch gets it data. And I also periodically update my weight to the health app, as it is dynamic unlike height.

By the way my BMI is 24.6
 

zdfbe4ah

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2018
76
76
nice coincidence, my BMI is 24.6, too :)

Mostly get my move goal (it's around 300 calories), sometimes the watch suggests it to increase it, sometimes it suggests to leave it as it is - and I can't always see a correlation to the previous week. It never suggested to decrease it for me (at this level).

Why are you talking about KJ, I only see CAL in my activity app and can't find a way to change it? Or is this region depending and different in Australia?

I update my weight and BMI in health nearly daily – I use the app Weiqht to do this, it's working great for that – just enter your weight and BMI is calculated and stored in health automatically.
 

friednoodles

Suspended
Feb 4, 2014
601
802
Why are you talking about KJ, I only see CAL in my activity app and can't find a way to change it? Or is this region depending and different in Australia?
Correct, Australia uses kJ (although people who use fitness apps or gym equipment will usually be familiar with Calories as well, as often these aren't localised and so people get used to using Calories).

Apple has had a lot of localisation bugs on the Watch and in the Activity app actually, where sometimes it would show Calories instead of kilojoules, and most recently some Awards would show their progress with kilojoules but the value shown was actually in Calories! (hoping this is fixed in the latest recent but haven't had an energy burn challenge yet)

You can adjust the unit in the Health app (Health Data - Activity - Energy - Unit) but I think the Watch uses the locale settings from the selected Region instead.
 

zdfbe4ah

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2018
76
76
thanks. interesting. maybe a localization bug is also the reason for what Adnanw experienced – the algorithm somewhere mixes up calories and kj and suggests wrong values?
 

Adnanw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
13
1
Australia
For the last few morning i have noticed that I get lots of excercise progress even i am sitting in the table in a meeting at work. This has been happening for last 5/6 days. Do not what is going on. Here is the link of the screenshot:

https://imgur.com/a/TGItWyE

Here you can see that Apple Watch graph showing i have done 48 mins of excercised even though I have made 409 steps in 3 hours of wearing watch!

How this can be possible?
 

oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
549
299
West Jordan, Utah
Most with this problem remove the App “Heart Analyzer” and that corrects the problem. However I’ve found it can happen with other apps that deal with live HR info as a complication on the watch. I noticed it right after the upgrade to iOS 12.1.4, and think it’s something in that upgrade that’s causing it.
 

Adnanw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
13
1
Australia
Most with this problem remove the App “Heart Analyzer” and that corrects the problem. However I’ve found it can happen with other apps that deal with live HR info as a complication on the watch. I noticed it right after the upgrade to iOS 12.1.4, and think it’s something in that upgrade that’s causing it.
Good observation. Yes I have been using Heart Analyzer app for a while and it was not causing any issue. It is only after 12.1.4 upgrade it has been happening. As I was telling you it has been going on since last 7 days which roughly when I installed that update.
 

oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
549
299
West Jordan, Utah
I'm not sure if you have to totally remove the app from your phone, or simply remove the complication, I didn't get that far with my testing, instead went back to my Garmin 5+. I decided to follow the discussions, and watch for an upgrade from Apple, then I'll go back to testing it in the various configurations.
 

Adnanw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
13
1
Australia
https://imgur.com/gallery/Pme6NDm

Please look at the above link where I have shown the excercise screen which showed no excercise recorded.

There is no excercise recorded this morning. I have only excercised twice this months. But according the month view which I also attached on the link, with all the circles it shows that I have been completing the green circle everyday for the last 7 days!
 
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oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
549
299
West Jordan, Utah
https://imgur.com/gallery/Pme6NDm

Please look at the above link where I have shown the excercise screen which showed no excercise recorded.

There is no excercise recorded this morning. I have only excercised twice this months. But according the month view which I also attached on the link, with all the circles it shows that I have been completing the green circle everyday for the last 7 days!
Looks like you've been caught in the same situation as another thread, (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-watch-activity-rings-filling-while-i-do-nothing.2169629/ )
I'll bet you have either Heart Analyzer, CardioGram, or another Heart Rate complication on your watch, right?