Apple has made it clear how you should wear your Apple Watch

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2019
You don't need advice on how to wear any other watch, but Apple Watch comes with activity and health sensors that are affected by how you put it on, and Apple has now made it perfectly clear how it wants you to wear it.

The Watch needs to be tight against your skin to work, but not so tight that it irritates or is uncomfortable.
The Watch needs to be tight against your skin to work, but not so tight that it irritates or is uncomfortable.


If your Apple Watch is insisting you've only done 3 minutes of exercise today, the first thing to do is get up and walk around. But the second thing is to check just how accurate that figure is.

We've all had oddities such as sudden Move Goal accomplishments when swear we've just been on the couch for an hour. When it's your activity ring that doesn't appear to tie up with reality, look at how you're wearing the Watch.

This applies to all Apple Watches and in particular to all bands you have with it. However, bands where you have buckles and adjustment holes are probably more affected than ones with a loop.

What has to happen

While much of the Apple Watch's fitness capabilities comes through having internals such as an accelerometer to measure movement or provide fall detection, it also has an array of sensors on the back. If you've ever seen someone wearing an Apple Watch too loosely, you've seen a bright green light coming from the back. This is the optical heart sensor, which uses photoplethysmography to calculate your heart rate.

That back of the Watch, though, must be kept in contact with your skin for that optical and an electrical heart rate sensor to work. The Taptic Engine expects you to be wearing it snugly, and the Wrist Detect feature has to have that skin contact.

Apple even provides a diagram recommending the right fit.

Apple's diagram on how to wear Apple Watch correctly
Apple's diagram on how to wear Apple Watch correctly


Similarly, Apple also says that the sensors in Apple Watch only work correctly when positioned against your skin at the top of your wrist. If you have small wrists, you need to find a way to tighten the strap to make it fit correctly. You may already familiar with adding extra adjustment holes to old Watch straps, but it's harder to make yourself do it with expensive Apple ones.

Instead, look for a loop band. Apple currently sells around a dozen of what it calls Sport Loops, each for $49. It also stocks leather loops or a Milanese metal loop in silver, gold or space black, each for $99.

Amazon stocks loop bands for Apple Watch for anywhere down to ten bucks.

One perhaps unexpected piece of advice from Apple is that you could tighten your band when you're doing a workout, then loosen it again afterwards. This helps with the sensors during the workout, but also avoids potential skin irritation.

The Goldilocks solution

Getting that balance of not too tight, not too loose, but just right, can take some experimentation -- and will likely vary with every band you have. But, there is further overall advice about helping the Apple Watch do what it needs to. Apple advises that you keep both the Watch and your bands clean, particularly when you use it for workouts.

The way you clean your Apple Watch itself involves switching it off. If your band is one of Apple's leather one, you should also remove it.

Then you can wipe the Watch clean with non-abrasive, lint-free material. To clean the band, you do much the same thing by removing it and using a non-abrasive cloth.




One more thing

Apple Watch works whether you wear it on your left or right wrist, and it does so by rotating the screen to be the correct side up for you. In either case, Apple's preferred way of your wearing it has the Digital Crown on the side of the watch nearest the top of your wrist. You can use the same screen rotation feature, though, to put the watch on the other way around.

Before the Apple Watch Series 4, that was even helpful for the accuracy of another feature, Siri, because it placed the microphone on the side nearest your face. Now that the microphone is on the other side, there's no practical advantage to wearing the Watch upside down -- unless that feels more comfortable.

Apple Watch is the first and so far only Apple device that's been intended to be worn directly on your person all day. Even the AirPods are more limited because of their battery life.

So taking the time to try adjusting the fit, or using different bands, is worth it.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member

    One more thing

    Apple Watch works whether you wear it on your left or right wrist, and it does so by rotating the screen to be the correct side up for you. In either case, Apple's preferred way of your wearing it has the Digital Crown on the side of the watch nearest the top of your wrist. You can use the same screen rotation feature, though, to put the watch on the other way around.


    The vast majority of Apple marketing photos show the watch on the left hand, with the Digital Crown on the upper right side of the watch. Granted left handed people are a minority within the population, but I’ve rarely seen any advertising that normalize wearing the watch on the right wrist with the crown on the bottom left. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,027member
    mac_128 said:

    One more thing

    Apple Watch works whether you wear it on your left or right wrist, and it does so by rotating the screen to be the correct side up for you. In either case, Apple's preferred way of your wearing it has the Digital Crown on the side of the watch nearest the top of your wrist. You can use the same screen rotation feature, though, to put the watch on the other way around.


    The vast majority of Apple marketing photos show the watch on the left hand, with the Digital Crown on the upper right side of the watch. Granted left handed people are a minority within the population, but I’ve rarely seen any advertising that normalize wearing the watch on the right wrist with the crown on the bottom left. 
    I personally like wearing on my left wrist with the crown on the lower left so I can press it with my right thumb.
    williamhsportyguy209cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 35
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,262member
    Why would I have to turn off my water proof watch to clean it with water?   No, I won't put it under pressure washer, but it should be able to withstand a splash of water.
    cy_starkman
  • Reply 4 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,027member
    Before the Apple Watch Series 4, that was even helpful for the accuracy of another feature, Siri, because it placed the microphone on the side nearest your face. Now that the microphone is on the other side, there's no practical advantage to wearing the Watch upside down -- unless that feels more comfortable.
    Since the Series 4 the microphone is now closer to my face when I talk because it's now facing my wrist. I don't use Siri (or my Watch) when my arms are down at my side—I use them when it is in view and raised which puts the wrist-side closer to my mouth than the elbow-side.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,027member
    Why would I have to turn off my water proof watch to clean it with water?   No, I won't put it under pressure washer, but it should be able to withstand a splash of water.
    You're inferring to much. You can keep it on when you clean it just as it's find to keep your Mac on when you clean it, but it's good practice to turn devices off when you do so.

    PS:  It's water resistant.
    edited October 2019
  • Reply 6 of 35
    mac_128 said:

    One more thing

    Apple Watch works whether you wear it on your left or right wrist, and it does so by rotating the screen to be the correct side up for you. In either case, Apple's preferred way of your wearing it has the Digital Crown on the side of the watch nearest the top of your wrist. You can use the same screen rotation feature, though, to put the watch on the other way around.


    The vast majority of Apple marketing photos show the watch on the left hand, with the Digital Crown on the upper right side of the watch. Granted left handed people are a minority within the population, but I’ve rarely seen any advertising that normalize wearing the watch on the right wrist with the crown on the bottom left. 
    "Normalize"?  I'm pretty sure neither Apple nor anyone else cares how you (we) wear our Apple Watches on our right wrists (of if we want to wear it on the left despite being left handed!).  I think I wear it the "normal" way by having the button and crown on the "hand side" (left side, as opposed to the "arm side"/right side) on my right wrist.  Apple provides that option and I take advantage of it. I don't particular care that the crown is closer to me than the button (as it would be if I were wearing it this way on my left wrist).

    As for the rest of this article, doesn't the little booklet that comes with the watch make it clear that it has to be snug on your wrist to work properly?  Who doesn't know that?
    edited October 2019
  • Reply 7 of 35
    So much misinformation about the Apple Watch Water Lock mode. Water Lock does NOT make your watch more water proof when it is on in anyway whatsoever. I swim, wash my hands and shower with my Apple Watch for years without an issue. If swimming the Apple Watch usually figures it out and activates Water Lock on its own to prevent spurious inputs. The only thing you need to be concerned about is your watch band (I use a Nike sport band which isn't affected by water) if it doesn't do well wet. No need to turn off the Apple Watch either. Just don't be stupid and clean it with a pressure washer (obviously).

    Water Lock mode only does two things:

    (1) Turns off the touch input on the screen to prevent water from making spurious inputs such as activating a complication.

    (2) When you turn off Water Lock the beeps it makes are designed to cause vibrations to jiggle out water that maybe clinging to the speaker membrane so that the speaker sounds clearer before it is totally dry.

    Again, Water Lock mode does nothing physical to make the watch more water proof --- it is already water proof enough for almost all activities anyway.
    avon b7randominternetpersonmaltzpscooter63StrangeDaysGeorgeBMacuraharasarthos
  • Reply 8 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,027member
    macmarcus said:
    So much misinformation about the Apple Watch Water Lock mode. Water Lock does NOT make your watch more water proof when it is on in anyway whatsoever. I swim, wash my hands and shower with my Apple Watch for years without an issue. If swimming the Apple Watch usually figures it out and activates Water Lock on its own to prevent spurious inputs. The only thing you need to be concerned about is your watch band (I use a Nike sport band which isn't affected by water) if it doesn't do well wet. No need to turn off the Apple Watch either. Just don't be stupid and clean it with a pressure washer (obviously).

    Water Lock mode only does two things:

    (1) Turns off the touch input on the screen to prevent water from making spurious inputs such as activating a complication.

    (2) When you turn off Water Lock the beeps it makes are designed to cause vibrations to jiggle out water that maybe clinging to the speaker membrane so that the speaker sounds clearer before it is totally dry.

    Again, Water Lock mode does nothing physical to make the watch more water proof --- it is already water proof enough for almost all activities anyway.
    I don’t see any mention of water lock in the article until your comment.
    macgui
  • Reply 9 of 35
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,102member
    The plastic band's holes didn't give me much chance to make the band fit well. It was either to loose or too tight. So I switched to a band that uses something like velcro to allow me to get the perfect fit. However the perfect fit isn't perfect because I have some eczema and the perfect fit makes it impossible to rub or scratch my skin with my finger. Both band types aggravate my eczema. 35 million Americans have some eczema.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,027member
    The plastic band's holes didn't give me much chance to make the band fit well. It was either to loose or too tight. So I switched to a band that uses something like velcro to allow me to get the perfect fit. However the perfect fit isn't perfect because I have some eczema and the perfect fit makes it impossible to rub or scratch my skin with my finger. Both band types aggravate my eczema. 35 million Americans have some eczema.
    Have you tried flexing your fingers out when you put it on so that it's slightly looser around the wrist when your hand isn't flexed? I just tried that with my Nike band—I can't get my finger under when my hand is flexed but can when it's not, and it's a nice in every position.
    mike1
  • Reply 11 of 35
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 801member
    The heartbeat sensor in the Apple Watch is dismal. It doesn't work for me when I run or walk and neither does it for my wife (two different Apple Watch Series 3 pieces). Neither did that feature work in the Apple Watch Series 2). So, that's four different Apple Watches that do not perform as advertised. Even without working out, the heart rate is all over the place jumping between 50s and 150s. 

    I'm not saying that it's the worst heart monitor in a watch. I think they are all bad regardless of the brand. The technology is not there yet. I was planning to buy a Series 4 and then a Series 5 watch, but as far as I know, the heart monitor in the newer releases is the same as in Series 3 and Series 2. 

    I have tried to do multiple things: wear the watch loose, wear it tight, clean the back, wipe the sweat (if any), etc. I can't get consistent heart-rate reading from my watch when working out and the reading at rest is a crap shot. Same for my wife. 
  • Reply 12 of 35
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 621member
    Wearing the watch on my left wrist with the crown on the upper right (the normal way), activates Siri constantly when I am lifting weights. The bending of the wrist pushes against the crown...So now I have wear it upside down with the crown on the lower left.
    edited October 2019 Chris58369
  • Reply 13 of 35
    I have always worn all of my watches on the inside of my left wrist with the crown in the up position without any issues for years. I am right handed. I wear my watches in this position like most first responders and military personnel to avoid the watch making contact with hard surfaces during various physical activities. From my experience, Apple Watches seem to detect my heart rate with ease due to there probably being more blood vessels, arteries and veins on the inside of the wrist than the top of the wrist. I have also noticed that wearing my watches on the inside of the wrist makes it easier for me to see the display and it helps to minimize most unwanted broadcast of light and other attention distractions that can affect others around me. 
    edited October 2019 pscooter63cy_starkmanblurpbleepblooparlorspice-boy
  • Reply 14 of 35
    ivanhivanh Posts: 559member
    sirozha said:
    The heartbeat sensor in the Apple Watch is dismal. It doesn't work for me when I run or walk and neither does it for my wife (two different Apple Watch Series 3 pieces). Neither did that feature work in the Apple Watch Series 2). So, that's four different Apple Watches that do not perform as advertised. Even without working out, the heart rate is all over the place jumping between 50s and 150s. 

    I'm not saying that it's the worst heart monitor in a watch. I think they are all bad regardless of the brand. The technology is not there yet. I was planning to buy a Series 4 and then a Series 5 watch, but as far as I know, the heart monitor in the newer releases is the same as in Series 3 and Series 2. 

    I have tried to do multiple things: wear the watch loose, wear it tight, clean the back, wipe the sweat (if any), etc. I can't get consistent heart-rate reading from my watch when working out and the reading at rest is a crap shot. Same for my wife. 
    I’m using Nike band with the long stripe (with adjustment holes) in the top. This way the watch will secure better on the wrist while giving you a more comfortable grip but not inducing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It’s also easier to put on.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    I'm sure that there will be a ton of jokes about "You don't have it on your arm right...."  In reality, fitbit requires a similar setup.  A fitbit must be properly wrapped on your arm.  With fitbit, iirc, you have to tell the system which arm it is on, so the apple watch appears to be a little bit smarter.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 881member
    Reminds me of “You’re holding it wrong!”   :D
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 35
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,598member
    mac_128 said:

    One more thing

    Apple Watch works whether you wear it on your left or right wrist, and it does so by rotating the screen to be the correct side up for you. In either case, Apple's preferred way of your wearing it has the Digital Crown on the side of the watch nearest the top of your wrist. You can use the same screen rotation feature, though, to put the watch on the other way around.


    The vast majority of Apple marketing photos show the watch on the left hand, with the Digital Crown on the upper right side of the watch. Granted left handed people are a minority within the population, but I’ve rarely seen any advertising that normalize wearing the watch on the right wrist with the crown on the bottom left. 
    "Normalize"?! Do you feel the need for Apple to validate your left handedness?
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 18 of 35
    Soli said:
    mac_128 said:

    One more thing

    Apple Watch works whether you wear it on your left or right wrist, and it does so by rotating the screen to be the correct side up for you. In either case, Apple's preferred way of your wearing it has the Digital Crown on the side of the watch nearest the top of your wrist. You can use the same screen rotation feature, though, to put the watch on the other way around.


    The vast majority of Apple marketing photos show the watch on the left hand, with the Digital Crown on the upper right side of the watch. Granted left handed people are a minority within the population, but I’ve rarely seen any advertising that normalize wearing the watch on the right wrist with the crown on the bottom left. 
    I personally like wearing on my left wrist with the crown on the lower left so I can press it with my right thumb.
    I actually have to wear it this way. I am a postie who rides a motorcycle all day. I have worn all my watches on my right hand. I find it cumbersome to do that with the Apple Watch because it means typing with my left hand and so being right handed this is annoying.

    However, wearing the Apple Watch on my left hand with the crown on the right is constantly triggering the watch because my wrist is constantly bent while riding.

    I also turn off rise to wake because when I was wearing it on my right hand rise to wake would get triggered by the throttle. It gets triggered on the left hand by me posting the mail in the mailboxes. With rise to wake constantly being triggered I'd never get an entire day out of the watch. Now I get about a day and a half.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    May I?







    You’re wearing it wrong.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 20 of 35
    NY1822 said:
    Wearing the watch on my left wrist with the crown on the upper right (the normal way), activates Siri constantly when I am lifting weights. The bending of the wrist pushes against the crown...So now I have wear it upside down with the crown on the lower left.
    I've read other reviews that mention this (as a fatal flaw, not that you go to that extreme).  It just goes to show that there is great physiological variability.  Based on the way my wrist flexes (not much, maybe 70 degree) it would be impossible for me to push the crown accidentally doing any physical activity.
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