I know the Apple Watch Workout app differs from the Activity app in its tracking of calories burned but what accounts for this huge discrepancy described below?

I ran the "7 Minute Workout" app yesterday (Dec 8 in the image) and used the Apple Watch Workout app to track the exercise but forgot to stop it for about four hours. When I noticed Workout still running and finally stopped it, it showed me that I had exercised for 245 minutes and burned around 1100 active calories! Now, that's more than half of my allotted calories for the day. If it were only true for when I was simply driving to dinner and then gorging on pasta and wine!

When I didn't forget to turn off Workout the other day (Dec 5 in the image) after doing two 7 MWC sessions (total about 25 minutes), I got what looks like a normal calories burned reading.

So, in theory, if I run the Workout app from when I wake up until I go to sleep, I'd expect it'll show me that I burned a ton more calories than the Activity app would.

Health app record showing spike in calories burned

  • 1
    It's possible because the Watch gets data from all the health and activity apps plus it's own sources (that are running all throughout the day). I've been seeing articles about this same thing for over a year now so there's a lot you can read about the 'why' and 'how' of it. This article from last year has a good summary. – fsb Dec 9 '16 at 19:13
  • Hi @fsb, thanks for the link! I did some more digging in the Health app and the calories in the All Recorded Data log all came from the Apple Watch. But, there is a bigger problem with the calorie count... I turned on the Workout app for ~20 minutes while at the computer. The first minute of the "workout" I logged 2.33 kcals versus the .39 kcal the minute before I started the workout. What's worse than this major inconsistency is that there is no way I burned 390 calories in one minute let alone 2300 calories! <img src="imgur.com/4U9SEk3"> – nagaden Dec 10 '16 at 21:24
  • Better link for All Recorded Data log – nagaden Dec 10 '16 at 21:32
  • Just wanted to add that the current Active Energy calorie count in Health for today is a reasonable 173 calories. It was 524 total yesterday when I used Workout to record a 40 minute walk and a 10 minute workout so that seems accurate. This must mean the individual entries in the log are using the unit kcals incorrectly (ex. 0.37 kcal). But the 1294 total calories it tallied for less activity a few days ago is just plain off! – nagaden Dec 10 '16 at 22:12
  • So, turns out 1 kcal is the same as 1 calories. Duh, OK. One mystery solved! Now, I've narrowed down the issue to the fact that Calories data coming in from the Apple Watch is at a much higher rate while the Workout app is running than from just when the Activity app is taking readings. – nagaden Dec 10 '16 at 22:35

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