If someone has a nervous habit, such as twirling their hair, drumming on the desk, etc, throughout the day, using the hand that the Apple Watch is worn on, can this throw off activity readings (and sitting/standing reminders, etc)?

One would assume that the watch double-checks things like this by measuring heart rate, etc, to be sure, but I'm wondering about the technical implementation.

3 Answers 3


Yes it can. Only exercise uses heart rate currently to gauge effort. I know of several people that figured out how to game the stand goal while flying in an airplane by just moving one forearm.

The accelerometer algorithm for standing can't really tell why your hand moves when it is checking for sedentary conditions. This is probably a known issue since preventing this would also reduce the accuracy of legitimate walking about so it’s probably an engineering trade off as opposed to something Apple didn’t consider.

  • 1
    I use sign language, it really gets move ring closed quickly!
    – bjbk
    Jul 2, 2017 at 20:14

My watch counts all my crochet/knitting movements as steps. I can easily notch up an extra 10.000 steps in a day if I knit in the evenings. I have spoken with Apple but they cannot come up with any solution.

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    That is awesome. Now if only you could figure out how to monetize your extra activity, I’m sure some people would pay to get topped off - especially as their local midnight approaches.
    – bmike
    Jul 2, 2017 at 20:11

Go to your iPhone and go to the Watch App then my watch. Then privacy and unclick fitness tracking. Now, knit all you want. No more activity is counted. Do the reverse when walking again and you have finished.

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