AWT Health Club: the Apple Watch Activity app

This week’s app: Activity

A week ago, just a handful of people were using Apple’s Activity app; now, it’s on the Apple Watch and iPhone, tracking your every step and trying to keep you moving and working out. 

Over the past few days as I’ve become accustomed to having the Watch on my left wrist, I’ve found Activity to be a helpful tool for personal health. It’s unobtrusive, but tells you when you ought to get up from sitting too long and walk around a bit, and also gives you an idea of your activity with a glance.

To get to the app on the Watch, just press the Digital Crown and tap the Activity button, which looks like a trio of concentric circles — red on the outside, green in the middle, and blue on the inside. The first time you do this, Activity takes you through a short tutorial on how to help your health by not sitting for prolonged amounts of time (standing up at least one minute of every hour), achieve a calorie burn goal by moving more, and try to hit a higher level of activity by spending at least 30 minutes at a brisk walk or beyond.

As you go through your day, you try to “fill the activity rings”  for standing, moving, and working out. During that first session with Activity, you’ll also need to enter some personal information such as sex, weight, height and current activity level. A personal calorie burn goal is listed, and using the digital crown you can adjust it up or down. For me, that level was 360 calories per day.

To see how you’re doing during the day, you can put the Activity rings right on a watch face as a complication. With a glance, you can see how far those circles have progressed around their orbit or tap on the Activity icon to open the app. By default, Activity is one of the Glances you can view by swiping up from the bottom of your Watch. 

Once you’re viewing the Activity app, you can scroll up to see active calories burned, total steps taken and total distance walked, or swipe side to side to see each of the rings individually. 

Helpful reminders can be set up in the Apple Watch app. I set my Watch up to show my activity in Glances, give me reminders to stand and move every hour, provide me with a progress update every four hours (so it’s not constantly nagging me!), and provide goal completion notifications as well. 

If you achieve a certain milestone or personal best, you’ll get a notification as well, and the app also provides “medals” to award you for doing things healthily. 

The companion Activity app on the iPhone is useful for getting a monthly glance at your movement as well as looking at your achievement "medals". 

Compared to many fitness trackers, I think Activity provides just the right combination of motivation and information rather than being a pest or (like with CARROT Fit) a bully. The best thing? It’s part of the built-in apps. 

Health Club Members!
Rather than having to post your progress on the Apple World Today Facebook page, I’ve created a group that’s strictly set up for us. You’ll need to be invited to the group; please use the email button on the right sidebar to send me the email address you use for Facebook so I can invite you.

My weekly stats:
Weight: 193.0 lbs 
Change from last week: -1.3 lbs (thanks for the applause!)
Steps taken each day: M-2660,T-1311, W-3517, TH-2999, F-2175, SA-5453, SU-4003
Average steps per day last week: 3159 (+327 from previous week)

Let’s hear how you did! Let’s get moving!