Changing Your Activity Goals on Apple Watch Is So Easy, You Won’t Burn Many Calories

Curious about how to change activity goals on Apple Watch? Turns out, the process couldn’t be simpler. Learn about the goals and how to adjust them.


Aug. 6 2022, Published 1:07 p.m. ET

Are you feeling like your activity goals on your Apple Watch are too lax? Or, alternatively, are you tired of your Apple Watch shaming you about not closing your rings every day? (Many of us are still home 24/7 as this pandemic rages on, after all.) Luckily, it’s not hard to change activity goals on Apple Watch.

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As Apple notes on a support page on the topic, you can change up your goals whenever you want to “better suit your activity levels.” (Some of us are still waiting on a “Netflix streaming” ring, but that’s beside the point.)

Changing activity goals on Apple Watch is an easy, five-step process.

Here’s how you adjust those activity goals on that little computer hanging out on your wrist:

1. Open the Activity app on your Apple Watch. (From the Home Screen, look for the app icon that looks like concentric blue, green, and pink rings.)

2. Swipe up on the screen with your finger and tap Change Goals.

3. Tap the plus or minus buttons to adjust your daily Move goal — in terms of how many active calories you’re shooting for — then tap Next. (Continued below.)

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4. Then, tap the plus or minus buttons to adjust your daily Exercise goal — in terms of how many minutes of exercise you’d like to get — then tap Next.

5. Finally, tap the plus or minus buttons to adjust your daily Stand goal — in terms of the number of hours each day for which you’d like to have a standing break — and tap OK.

Apple says that if you don’t see the option to change your Stand and Exercise goals, update your Apple Watch to the latest version of watchOS by following these instructions.

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But what do those rings and goals mean anyway?

The Move goal tracks your active calories, which “are the ones you burn through all kinds of movement, from taking the stairs at work to playing with the kids to cleaning out the garage,” Apple says on its Close Your Rings webpage. “Being active throughout the day is an important part of living a healthy life.”

Plus, as the company notes, you can burn your active calories many ways. Gardening burns up to 100 calories per hour. Walking the dog burns up to 170. And dancing burns up to 300.

The Exercise goal, on the other hand, tracks minutes of brisk activity, which is anything that is at least as strenuous as a brisk walk. “30 minutes of brisk activity every day can help minimize the chance of stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and weight gain,” Apple says. “It can also help improve sleep and mood, as well as reduce stress.”

And the Stand goal tracks the hours per day in which you’ve gotten up and moved around for at least one minute. “Sitting too much can contribute to health problems. That’s why Apple Watch tracks your progress toward your Stand goal and motivates you to get up throughout the day,” Apple explains. “Being less sedentary can lead to lower blood pressure, increased energy, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.”

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