Apple Watch Mystery

I took my dog for the same 2.4 mile walk yesterday and today. Yesterday I registered 42 minutes of exercise, while today I only get credit for 17 minutes. This doesn’t make any sense to me. How does this work?

How long is the total walk? It’s looking at your pace, relative to your height, and your heart rate. If your total walk time is several minutes more than 42, you’re doing about 20 minutes a mile, which is probably close to not being “brisk” enough to count.

I know some people have improved their accuracy by double-checking their height and weight settings in health, too.

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They both took the same amount of time, 64 minutes.

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I think that is it, looking at the heart rate graph in Activity it looks like it was lower today than yesterday. I’ll try to pay more attention to that when I’m walking.

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As much as I don’t want to say this, sometimes the workout just doesn’t record the minutes correctly…:). I’ve had that challenge off and on with a Series 4. Stopping the workout, force-closing the app, and going back to another workout usually fixes it. When it doesn’t, I end up taking the watch off and cleaning the sensors underneath with a cloth. Starting the workout again seems to be just fine. Having dealt with the issue for a while now, I monitor it often.

I’ve had similar stuff happen and it comes from I think your heart rate and pace being too slow. I could never figure out a cutoff though.

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Thank you for your thoughts @Wolfie. Unfortunately, it is not the heart rate for me. :slight_smile: I have just learned to accept it. I edited down this post as I realized, this was someone else’s thread…:slight_smile:

I get the same thing regularly. I walk the dog about a mile every morning, the distance is always correct, but the number of exercise minutes fluctuates wildly between 0 and 13.

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Oops - I posted my reply to an old similar thread. I found that if you either tighten the strap one notch or push it up your arm until it’s tight, it will register more minutes. This is using the elastomer strap.

I’m adding another two mysteries:

  1. How does it calculate stairs? I live on one floor and run to, and around, a nearby track that’s a slight downhill. I average 4-5 miles a day. Yesterday it said I’d climbed 19 flights! The day before it was 0.
  2. Sometimes my text message options are in French. Yes, I have a French keyboard on my phone, but almost never switch to it. But sometimes my options for replies are in French, and I don’t even know how to edit them because they aren’t listed as editable options. Is Marie Antoinette living in my watch? :slight_smile:

FWIW: I have a series 4 watch running the latest watch OS.

I always use the Workouts watch app to start and stop my run. Possibly unnecessary.

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I have an absurd number of keyboards on my phone (because Duolingo used to spell check in the foreign language when the keyboard was installed) and I have never had foreign language suggestions on the Watch text.
Funniest way I ever completed Watch rings, in the early days - fell asleep with the watch on and alarm ringing. The alarm buzzer was counted as exercise.

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Both my brother and I got the original Apple Watch and he kept complaining that he could never get exercise credit while I could simply walk briskly and get it. He was doing everything he could find to get it to register, but unless he broke into an actual run, it would not credit him for exercise.

I suspect it is down to metabolism, gait, heart health, wearing style (tightness, type of band etc), and more. The fact it differs from one day to the the next is slightly more baffling, but I guess we need to not lose sight of the fact that it’s all voodoo anyway. Measuring walking from your arm? Seems crazy to me. :man_shrugging:t2:

For a completely unimportant reason, I started recording my walks on Strava, which then adds the data to the Fitness App.

In doing this I get far more minutes in my exercise ring than I do by using the Workout app.

I realise that this is shortcutting Apple’s algorithm, but when I walk for an hour, averaging about 3 miles/5 Kilometers an hour (an accepted average walking pace) for speed and get less than 30 minutes of credit, it’s annoying.

As a friend of mine says… “It’s not the exercise that’s important, it’s that you get credit for the exercise.” Sounds like you’re winning by her measure. :grin:


I sometimes make a similar joke with my wife. “I just got back from my walk and forgot to start the Workouts app. Now it didn’t happen!”