Measuring our Activity on the Apple Watch

In this lesson for the Apple Watch we look at how we measure our activity using the Apple Watch. Activity includes how much we’ve moved, exercised, and how many hours you’ve stood or moved for at least a minute. Apple measures these three metrics; move, exercise, and stand, through rings and goals. The idea is to close each on of these rings every day.

How does the Apple Watch Measure your Activity
The Apple watch measures your activity through an accelerometer, GPS if it has one, and heart rate monitor. By looking at the data from these two inputs, the Apple Watch can determine, with pretty good accuracy, how many calories you’ve burned, and your movement including if you’ve stood for a minute or longer in the last hour and how many steps you’ve taken throughout the day.

Basic Activity
The Apple Watch in particular looks at the movement of your arm for basic activity (not a workout) through its accelerometer. So if you are going for a walk, Apple recommends you move your arms naturally. If you’re walking a dog, hold the leash with the arm that is not wearing the Apple watch.

If you’re pushing a stroller, then what Apple recommends doing is starting a workout. When you start a workout, in addition to using the accelerometer to measure your activity, it also uses the heart rate monitor. So if you’re not moving your arm naturally, you’ll still be able to get credit for activity because it’s using your heart rate.

Viewing your Activity
You view your activity and how close you are to reaching your goals, or closing your rings, by opening the Activity app on your Apple Watch. You can do this by opening the app through pushing in the digital crown, or tapping on the Activity complication on your watch face if you have that complication installed. When you open it, you’ll see three rings. These are your Move, Exercise, and Stand goals. The idea is to close these rings. If you scroll up you can see more data points about these goals.

Move Ring and Goal
The Move ring is the red ring on the outside and it shows how many active calories you’ve burned so far. You complete your daily Move goal by burning active calories every day. Active calories, unlike resting, are ones that you burn by standing or moving around. The Move goal can be changed by gently pushing down on your Apple Watch face and selecting ‘Change Move Goal’.

Exercise Ring and Goal
The green ring represents your exercise activity and shows how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve completed so far for the day. Apple presets this goal to 30 minutes and you cannot change it.

Stand Ring and Goal
The Stand ring is the blue ring and shows hours in which you’ve stood and moved for at least a minute. Complete your daily Stand goal by standing up and moving around for at least 1 minute during 12 different hours in the day. Even if you stand all day, you still need to move around.
Viewing more Activity Detail

As I mentioned above, you can view how you are doing with your rings by looking at the Activity complication if you have it installed on a Watch face. This makes it easy to just glance at your Apple Watch to see how you are doing. And again, if you want to know more, like how many minutes you actually have in your Exercise ring, you tap on the Activity complication or open the Activity app on your Apple Watch. When you first open it, you’ll see your rings. If you scroll up you’ll see more detail about each of these three metrics.

Sharing Options
You can share your how you are doing on your activity with friends, as an example, I share mine with my wife Beth and she shares hers with me. This way I can easily see how she is doing on closing her rings and she can see how I am doing on closing my rings. To see how you friends are doing, you swipe to the left while in the Activity app. I talk more about sharing your activity in another lesson, but once you have it setup, this is where you can view how they are doing.

Weekly Summary
When you are looking at the Activity app, you can also view a weekly summary. To do this, just gently push down on your Apple Watch while in the Activity app, you’ll see an option for Weekly Summary. Tap on the icon and your summary will show. Tap done in the upper left corner when you are finished viewing it.

See this Lesson in Action
If you want to see this lesson in action, take a look at the video above.

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