Activities Rings Doesn’t Match Exercise Minutes

I’ve noticed this over the couple weeks but after doing a work out my exercise ring will have filled to a significantly less time than what my exercise was. Generally I do long walks with my dog so I know that while the time may have gone for 30 minutes there may be a minute or to of inactivity but the difference isn’t making sense. This morning I took a 29 minute walk and only got 17 minutes of credit on exercise ring. There wasn’t 12 minutes of inactivity from me have to deal with my dog stopping for any reason. I’ve noticed this on long runs as well same issue.

Has anyone experienced this and figured out a way to get it more in line with what you’re doing?

Yes, pull the strap a notch tighter or drag the watch further up your arm during the activity.

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I thought it had something to do with activity level/effort (heart rate). It’s not just stopping on a walk, it’s tour heart rate not climbing high enough at some points.

Pretty sure @MacSparky mentioned it happening to him early in his Apple Watch workouts…just can’t remember the episode.

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It does seem to be based (at least) on heart rate increase (effort). I get almost zero exercise credit for walking whether or not I’m tracking a workout, whereas my wife gets credit for the whole time. I run a lot (which does give me exercise time), so walking doesn’t stress me enough to count it seems.

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I had a run this week where it didn’t to credit a significant part of the time. Considering that my HR basically is like 160+ during most my runs it makes no sense. I wonder if my watch is losing its HR data somehow as looking at my walk this morning which was around 100 BPM I don’t think it’s an exertion issue but there are gaps in the data.

I had this happen and the watch was tight on my wrist. I was on the treadmill walking at 2.9 to 3.2 speed with sweat dripping off me. One night I was on the treadmill for 45 minutes and got 7 minutes of exercise minutes for my ring. I even unpaired it then repaired it. It didn’t help. I ended up replacing my series 2 with a series 4.

Read somewhere today that it may need to be recalibrated so I’ll check back and let people know what I find.

I had the same thing happen with two Series 4 watches. The first I sent back to Apple. The second, I ended up tolerating it. I have kept an eye on the activity minutes as we walk/run. Usually, I can tell within the first couple of minutes if it is working. If it doesn’t record the minutes as we walk, I stop the activity, force quite the activity app, and start the activity over. Most of the times, this works. On some occasions, I turn off the watch completely and restart. It works just fine then.

I took quite a bit of time looking for patterns and talking with Apple support. I recalibrated quite regularly. Took my phone with me sometimes, left it at home on other occasions. It didn’t really have an impact on any consistent patterns. The one thing I did notice was that I had more challenges with tracking if I use the Infograph face some time before the activity. When I use the photos face all day, I rarely have an issue where time and activity are off. I know it might not help, but you are are not alone in noticing the challenge.

Followed what was in this post. My exercise ring filled up closer to my workout length (28 vs 31 minutes) so I think it may have helped. Considering I was also walking the dog I’m sure there was a couple minutes of non moving for things like waste pickup and figuring out what other people were doing so I could avoid setting off my dog.

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I am 83 and take a medication that keeps my heart rate low. I, of course am walking, but I live in the hills and do work hard on my walks. I find that 90 bpm seems to be the lowest it records “credit” for my exercise, but I start out at 50, so I’m working really hard to get above 90. It is disappointing, but I get all those steps in! And that count is pretty accurate for the 2 miles I cover. Also, as others have said, during the exercise sometimes there are gaps in the pulse data.

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I have found if you set your workout as a “Functional Training “ activity, you will get credit for all the time. However, it won’t track mileage in that mode.

I’ve found that which strap I use makes a difference. Milanese loops are poor as are the link bracelet, but Sport straps, flourolastimer <sp?> and nylon sport are better.

As you get fitter, you need to work harder to get credit which can be frustrating if (as another poster said) you’re on heart meds which keep it low.

There are inconsistencies also. Some mornings walking the dog I get full credit, on others I get virtually nothing. I walk the same route in about the same time most mornings.

Finally i’ve Noticed that different watchOS updates seem to affect the amount of credit.

Tighten your watch strap by one notch or push it further up your arm than normal before going for your walk.

My husband just got me this watch for my birthday because he wants us to be able to challenge each other with the rings. Like another user, I also have a low BPM ( mine is natural). My son and I walk together and his BPM can be over 100 while mine has only got up to 76. So, I am also having this issue. I told my husband I will not be doing this challenge thing when I consistently only get credit for 13 minutes of a 40 minute workout on a hilly road! When reading on what level of BPM to reach for exercise, I found that 88 is actually considered an exercise rate. I would think Apple would at least have it start at 90BPM or a certainty percentage over your resting BPM.


I also have a normally low resting heart rate in the low 50s (medical term: sinus bradycardia). This is not uncommon, and Apple’s software should adjust for this to count as exercise a walk when the heart rate is 40% or so above resting rate.

Come on, Apple … this is not that hard. Listen to your customers!


I haven’t noticed much of an issue but the heat and general out of shapeness has caused my heart rate to be slightly more than usual on walks

My heart rate is slow because of medication. That too drops me out of credit for strenuous walk in the hills of home! Come on Apple Pay attention!

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Have you tried using a service like Strava to record your walk. You’ll find you get full credit as it can add your walk into Fitness.