What constitutes exercise in activity app?

jsmith189

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Original poster
Jan 12, 2014
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Can someone explain to me exactly how this works? I did a one hour "outdoor walk" yesterday and it only registered seven minutes of exercise, did about the same again today to test it and it only registered one minute of exercise. It's registering all my steps, so I'm not really sure exactly what's happening.

I also checked Health to ensure my HR was being registered, and it's being checked 12 times a minute.
 

jsmith189

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 12, 2014
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Are you sure you started the workout correctly? I did an Outdoor Walk yesterday for a mile and it worked perfectly.
I opened it up, did "Outdoor Walk", selected "Open (No Goal)" and just went for a walk. Ended it when I got home, I can see it's registering my steps, but only registered one minute. So odd. Maybe I need to set an actual time target instead of open? But even if that were true, why would I then register anything at all? Lol.
 
Last edited:

Me1987

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2014
249
67
Somerset, UK
I opened it up, did "Outdoor Walk", selected "Open (No Goal)" and just went for a walk. Ended it when I got home, I can see it's registering my steps, but only registered one minute. So odd. Maybe I need to set an actual time target instead of open? But even if that were true, why would I then register anything at all? Lol.

You need to walk at a brisk or above brisk pace for it to register exercise. Guess you haven't been walking fast enough ;)
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
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Tatooine
I also took a 45 minute walk yesterday and it only registered 4 minutes of exercise. My hunch was that maybe I didn't go fast enough or get my heart rate up high enough, although it was a somewhat brisk walk.
 

MR-LIZARD

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2012
101
154
UK
Anyone have any trouble with the achievements not being gained?

I did an Insanity workout this morning. Used the Apple Watch workout app set to "other". Worked beautifully and recorded 35 mins of exercise activity. Afterwards it congratulated me on passing my goa,l especially as the day had only just begun (nice touch!). However, I noticed that you get your first achievement for using the workout app and recording at least 5 mins. The achievement hasn't been unlocked though.

Not sure if maybe it happens at the end of the day or some other time; such as the summary reports throughout the day?

This one will be easy to unlock again but just concerned for the other ones that require more effort or consecutive goals to be reached.
 

jsmith189

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Original poster
Jan 12, 2014
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I also took a 45 minute walk yesterday and it only registered 4 minutes of exercise. My hunch was that maybe I didn't go fast enough or get my heart rate up high enough, although it was a somewhat brisk walk.
That's my thing, like I know I'm not running but... I definitely wasn't just strolling. I was purposely walking a lot faster than yesterday and it went DOWN.
 

eagleglen

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2009
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Phoenix, AZ
Can someone explain to me exactly how this works? I did a one hour "outdoor walk" yesterday and it only registered seven minutes of exercise, did about the same again today to test it and it only registered one minute of exercise. It's registering all my steps, so I'm not really sure exactly what's happening.

I also checked Health to ensure my HR was being registered, and it's being checked 12 times a minute.
The same thing happened to me after I tried an outdoor walk. I hope it wasn't because it wasn't brisk enough, but I can see my avg heartbeat during that time was definitely elevated. I would have thought if you start a workout, it should mirror the exercise time. I hope someone can explain this.
 

jsmith189

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Original poster
Jan 12, 2014
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I would have thought if you start a workout, it should mirror the exercise time.
That's sort of what I was hoping, while also registering if you stop (for traffic etc) and taking that into account.
 

Sanlitun

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2014
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127.0.0.1
So what exactly is exercise? Is it just rapid arm movement or can the watch detect a high pulse on an exercise bike and record that?

So far I haven't been able to get it to register any exercise.
 

KauaiBruce

macrumors 6502a
Jul 5, 2007
997
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Kauai, HI
Sometimes I think you get automatic credit for an activity but that is if the heart rate thing registers you are pretty active.

If you want guaranteed credit for exercise you need to run the exercise app with the green running figure icon. I believe you need to select the activity you are doing and press start on the third page of that activity. If you are just active it works if you set other and just hit start.
 

Sanlitun

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2014
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127.0.0.1
It would be nice if it was spontaneous rather than having to use the app. For example if you are at the beach and just start playing volleyball etc.

I'm going to try it on a stationary bike with a HRM and do a comparison tomorrow.
 

shandyman

Suspended
Apr 24, 2010
6,458
396
Dublin, Ireland
I've had it register some exercise for me today, despite me not setting it as exercise. Think it can automatically detect when you're doing something that's a bit more exertion than resting?
 

MoodyM

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2008
776
24
When moving around and counting exercise minutes, what exactly constitutes "exercise"?
 

roddenshaw

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2006
272
17
I hope that at some point the goal becomes editable. Most weekdays I cycle at high intensity for at least 30 minutes, and exercise at high intensity (running or Crossfit) for at least an hour. I walk fast and usually walk quite a few flights of stairs, so I often quadruple the exercise goal. Given that the purpose of having a goal is motivation limiting it to 30 minutes, and setting the bar for 'exercise' so low isn't very useful for me.
 

Kovich

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2015
31
7
I hope that at some point the goal becomes editable. Most weekdays I cycle at high intensity for at least 30 minutes, and exercise at high intensity (running or Crossfit) for at least an hour. I walk fast and usually walk quite a few flights of stairs, so I often quadruple the exercise goal. Given that the purpose of having a goal is motivation limiting it to 30 minutes, and setting the bar for 'exercise' so low isn't very useful for me.
I agree this should be editable, but not below 30 minutes. I walk to work each day for 30 minutes and so have usually complete my target by breakfast which seems odd
 

roddenshaw

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2006
272
17
I agree this should be editable, but not below 30 minutes. I walk to work each day for 30 minutes and so have usually complete my target by breakfast which seems odd
Sure, a minimum target is required for the goal to be in any way meaningful.
 

roddenshaw

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2006
272
17
I would assume elevated heart rate, plus movement, would be considered exercise?
Yes, I suspect that in most cases the movement is the first part of that equation (since the device regularly samples heart rate, rather than constantly monitoring it).
 

clg82

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2010
295
35
Southern California
On my ring for my fitness it says that I have 5 of 30 minutes done for exercise but I haven't done anything overly difficult besides my normal routine day job today....so how does it determine what is 1 minutes of exercise?
 

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