Apple Watch Activity Circles Motivate Users to Go the Distance


In an interesting article titled “Filling the Green Circle”, author Marco Arment has shared his experience with the Apple Watch’s Activity feature, describing how it has made him not only get more consistent exercise, but also push himself further. “I take more walks, and I walk faster and further than ever before”, he writes. He notes that he has been discovering new streets trying to extend his walking distance and to beat his previous walks logged by the Watch’s Activity Circles.

Activity circles

Marco notes that setting the Activity Circles as an always-visible feature of your Apple Watch face will get you motivated more that ever before. “I’ve never cared before, but now, I care”. He says that he doesn’t expect to fill all three circles every day, but he feels so motivated that he used a hotel gym in jeans, “because I knew I won’t fill the green circle, the hardest one (30 minutes of activity with an elevated heart rate), in my normal activities”.

It’s hard to say a gadget makes you healthier. This is working for me because I’ve wanted to lose some weight anyway, the springtime weather is beautiful, and I really like my shiny new watch. The big question, like any positive change in diet or exercise, is whether I’ll stick with it.

When I get a standing reminder (50 minutes after the hour if you haven’t stood yet during that hour) to help fill the blue circle (12 hours that included some standing motion), I usually find a good excuse to get up for a few minutes, even if it’s just to get a drink or wash the dishes at home.

What I personally love about the Watch’s Activity feature is that the goals it sets are reasonable enough not to be discouraging, but significant enough that I only need to make small, positive changes to reach them.

Do you feel motivated to exercise more after getting the Apple Watch?


  • kabsalsa

    I have found myself moving more to complete all of the circles. i often track activities, like a fast walk, to make sure I get the minutes in (it’s inconsistent in tracking exercise minutes without starting a workout using the workout app). My only complaint…. Often forgetting to stop the workout when I am done…… It just keeps going. Would be nice if it vibrated to tell me I haven’t been moving and the workout is still being timed.

  • Same here. I’ve actually lost a few pounds since getting Apple Watch as I’m moving more than before, trying to complete my rings.

    I agree it needs an auto pause feature or an alert to prompt if you’re finished your workout and to save it. There also needs to be a Glance for the Workout app to make it easier to start workouts.

  • djepsilon

    Finally got mine yesterday, but yes! Now that I see the little circles all the time, I feel motivated to get them filled up. Impressive screenshot there for who’s ever activity that is!

  • That was Marco Arment’s screenshot!

  • kabsalsa

    That would be nice. Though I always choose a watch face that has the activity ring as a custom option. Would be great to have more customization for some.

  • Present forever

    Im crazly motivated
    Filling the circle became my favorite hobby
    One of the funny thing
    It happed that I spent longer time in one of my friends house and when I notice the time 11:30 pm a
    Lost 4 kg so far

  • Kirk

    I’m crazy motivated… But in a good way. I like getting the awards and trying to retain them. It really does work.