The Impact of Apple Watch on Health and Fitness

The Apple Watch was announced earlier today and it, along with the Health app, will change the way we are able to interact with our iPhones. The Apple Watch does double duty as an all day fitness tracker (Activity app) and a sports watch (Workout app). The wide variety of data it collects makes it easy for the Apple Watch to track different types of activity.

These are the key components of fitness portion of the Apple Watch:

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  • Accelerometer measures your total body movement
  • LED and photo sensors to track your pulse (which shows your intensity)
  • GPS provides location data 

Unlike most fitness trackers currently on the market, the Apple Watch will not only calculate your total movement, but it will provide information about the quality of your movement. I know there's nothing more frustrating than completing a CrossFit workout and having your fitness tracker tell you that you didn't get a solid workout in. 

The fitness tracker on the Apple Watch is the Activity App. The Activity App tracks the amount of time you spend standing, moving, and exercising. The movement aspect of the Activity app calculates your calories burned. When you've burned the correct amount of calories for you (you set the number), you can close that portion of the app. The exercise portion of the Activity app calculates how much you've moved more intensely than a brisk walk. The standing aspect of the Activity app monitors how often you stood up and took a break from the sitting position–the goal is once an hour. 

The substitute for your sports watch is the Workout app. Select your workout, set your goal (based on time, amount of calories burned, or distance), and begin. The Workout app can monitor your blood pressure through the four sapphire lenses on the back of the watch that contain LEDs and photo sensors. Tap the watch face during your workout to see your progress, and receive a complete summary of your workout after it ends. 

The Apple Watch will keep your workout history close at hand for you to reference later. While several fitness trackers have apps and websites that will save this information for you, this is the first time that your history will be available directly on the wearable fitness tracker. In addition, your workout and health data will be available to your health care provider and other third-party apps that you allow access to.

The Apple Watch requires an iPhone 5, 5c5s, 6, or 6 Plus to pair with and will be available in early 2015. Price begins at $349.


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Author Details

Becca Ludlum's picture

Author Details

Becca Ludlum

Becca is a blogger, freelance writer, and iDevice addict. She lives in the middle of the Arizona desert with her husband and two boys, and can't imagine life getting any better. Read about her crazy life at, or connect with her on twitter @BeccaLudlum