Watching your health
It’s hard to talk about the Apple Watch without noting the company’s touching – or should that be evangelistic? – concern for our health.
If the primary concern for most watches is accurately telling the time, Apple would seem to regard this as the time to get healthy.
A glance at the Apple Watch reveals health as a major area of additional functionality, the wrist wonder being armed with numerous ways to not only measure, chart and graph what our bodies are up to, but also to encourage, stimulate, remind and prod us into action.
Even then they’re not done – on meeting our fitness goals, and bear in mind these can be self-assessed, there are few rewards to be had – well, of the electronic kind – such as badges of achievement.
So, naturally, I’m trying to configure my Apple Watch so I get a prize for vacating my bed in the morning…
But let’s look at what it might do for you…
Enjoying prominent placement on the menu is an Activity app that provides a simple graphic of your daily activity via three rings. First, a Move ring shows how many active calories you’ve burned. Each week with watch will suggest a new goal for how many calories to burn each day, based on your recent history.
You can adjust this up or down by tapping the screen or using the Digital Crown, and the ring closes (complete the circle) when you meet your personal calorie burn goal for the day.
Then there’s an Exercise ring that shows how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve completed, in other words anything at the level of a brisk walk or above. Again the ring closes when you reach a globally recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day.
Finally a stand ring shows you how often you stood up to take a break from sitting, minimizing sedentary time. Yes, its sensors monitor you and if you’ve been sitting for going on an hour it reminds you to get up, only closing when you’ve stood for at least one minute in 12 different hours during the day.
The data these rings gather feeds into a Health App and HealthKit, where other apps can use the data, if you so choose.
Of course it doesn’t stop there, especially if you’re serious about your fitness rather than just health.
For you there’s the Workout App that, during say a dedicated cardio workout, can show real-time stats including elapsed time, distance, calories, and pace covering a variety of activities from running to indoor or outdoor cycling.
You simply choose the type of workout you’d like to do and the watch turns on the appropriate sensors, after which you get a detailed summary and your workout counts toward your Exercise and Move goals for the day.
Now it’s true there’s no shortage of fitness aids out there, from Fitbit to Garmin, but what’s significant about the Apple is that it’s likely to appeal to a much broader audience than the buffed-body set, younger wearers especially.
Making them more conscious of health and the benefits of activity is surely a worthy by-product of the Apple Watch, if not a brilliant idea in itself.
Read more about the Apple Watch on page 3.