The ability to check your Apple Watch step count is one of the many reasons that people want the watch. You’d think that Apple would have included an app specifically for tracking steps. However, the watch focuses on overall activity rather than the number of steps you take.
To check your Apple Watch step count, go to your Activity app by tapping the circular rainbow icon:
You’ll see this screen, which is a chart showing how much of your various activities you’ve achieved today:
Swipe Up to Find the Apple Watch Step Count
Swipe from the bottom to the top and you will see the step count, all the way at the bottom of the screen. You can also rotate the digital crown from top to bottom rather than swiping.
What else do you see on this screen of your watch? For starters, you see progress toward your move goal. In the screen shot below, I’ve burned 48 out of the 270 calories I’d planned to burn from moving today. (48 is 18% of 270.)
In addition, the Apple Watch tracks the minutes that I’ve moved or exercised for 1 minute today. That “exercise” comes from normal daily movement as well as exercise that I track with the workout app.
And finally, the stand measurements indicate that I have stood up for at least one minute during 2 hours of the day. 2 out of 12 is 16% of the goal of 12.
When you look at these measurements, the active calories are incremental to your resting calories. These are the extra calories you’ve burned today for your movement, exercise or other activity.
The watch bases total distance on footfalls, or number of steps counted. CNet has a great article comparing the Apple Watch distance accuracy to other smart watches. You can calibrate the Apple Watch distance calculation using the GPS on your phone for greater accuracy.
Keep scrolling and you’ll find the bar graphs that you see below. They show you the time distribution of your movement, exercise and standing.
Rings on Apple Watch Activity Circle
Curious about what the rings on the rainbow circle mean?
The outside ring – it’s red – is a graphic representation of the number of extra calories you’ve burned today from moving. This ring includes calories you burn from the steps in your step count.
The next ring, which is green, shows you how many minutes you’ve spent moving during the day. Any minutes you spend walking, moving or exercising will appear here.
And finally, the third ring, which is blue, shows you how many hours during the day you’ve spent time standing up in. If you don’t stand up in any hour, you’ll receive a notification about 10 minutes before the end of the hour reminding you to stand up.
Is there anything that I haven’t covered that you’d like more information about? Post your questions in the comments below!