No calorie burn from non-exercise activity

Last Saturday I burned 883 gross calories during my run. This was followed by nearly four hours of yard work, nothing too overly strenuous, but my HR looks to have remained around the same level as it does when I'm walking at a moderate pace. At the end of the day I had burned 862 active calories, i.e. my non-exercise activity apparently didn't quite burn enough calories to cover the RMR gap there.

Why would the watch almost entirely ignore the non-recorded activity? When I actually record a walk, my watch says I burn about 270-280 kcal per hour (which is a woeful overestimation for someone my size; I can't actually be burning much more than 200 kcal, but that's beside the point). So would it not follow that if I remained at around the same HR level for four hours, that would be the same as actually taking a four-hour walk? Shouldn't it have accounted for 1,000+ kcal according to the watch?

I rely on my watch for an estimate for my daily calorie burn since I count calories. I don't want to end up undernourishing myself.

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  • Yeah, that’s what I said. Strength was an example of an activity. So back to the point, the Activity Class has no bearing on whether the watch will calculate calories burnt for daily activities like doing the yard work. 

    so we’re back to square one on daily activity calories not being burnt?

  • The Activity Class has a great impact on the calculation of Active Calories. It means all Calories burned throughout the day for any physical (or mental) activity, regardles whethere you record it or not.

  • Interesting - I don’t think the page I linked earlier reads like that at all. 

    Garmin fitness devices use this information along with the user's profile in order to calculate the calories burned during a given activity.”

    I interpret “a given activity” to mean an activity that’s specifically logged, be it using the running, cycling, rowing, etc. apps. 

    it doesn’t mention anywhere about it utilising the Activity Class for the purposes of calculating calories burnt in everyday life.

    i think im going to log a support ticket to get clarification on this one as there seem to be many different ideas about how it’s supposed to work. 

  • The answer is simple - the impact of an excercise on your metabolism (especially the EPOC) is not depending on the exercise being logged as an Activity or not. The Activity Class is based on your weekly physical effort, exactly as written in the document, and not on the number of logged Activities. That would not make any sense.

  • I fully understand that, but to me the points you’re making still don’t answer the root problem. 

    if I elevate my heart rate through a DAILY activity, like doing yard work for 2 hours, why doesn’t the watch calculate that into calories burnt? My BMR os 1844. If I go and do 2 hours of yard work, the watch will still say my BMR is 1844 + any LOGGED activities. So, same as with all the screenshots and examples I’ve provided, why doesn’t the watch calculate elevated heart rate as calories burnt when doing an activity, like when I purposefully didn’t start a Strength activity as a tester. 

    the whole statement on EPOC and activity class is irrelevant based on everything you’ve said. 

  • why doesn’t the watch calculate that into calories burnt?

    Mine does, but then, I have set the Activity Class correclty. I do not quite understand why you do not simply adjust the setting as I advised to see whether it helps. If you change it now, tomorrow you'll see whether it helps. If it does not, contact the Customer Support and ask them to investigate, since it is not normal. But as long as you keep the Activity Class undefined, or zero, it won't work. I do not tell it is the right way to calculate the Calores from the part of Garmin, but from my experience it is unfortunately so.

    However, if you do not want to listen, do whatever you want, I am just trying to help you, but apparently you do not appreciate it.

  • the watch will still say my BMR is 1844 + any LOGGED activities.

    BTW, there is no BMR in Garmin Connect. Garmin only shows Resting Calories / RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) which is not identical to BMR (although close it it). However, both BMR and RMR are constants, based on your body parameters, and do not change as long as your body parameters do not change. The only part of the Calories that changes, are the Active Calories, and they are counted 24/24, regardless whether you record your physical activity as Activites, or not.

    Active Calories are NOT Calories from recorded Activities! Active Calories are all Calories burned over the RMR (including non-recorded physical or mental activity)

  • “I do not tell it is the right way to calculate the Calores from the part of Garmin,” 

    Right, so the answer is potentially, “Garmin are doing it wrong because it doesn’t make sense.”

    Yes, I said BMR but should’ve said RMR.

    We’re going in circles, because I’ve already said and given screenshots to show that it’s not counting my calories outside of activities, and that would be the Active calories you’re talking about and saying that it’s counted 24/24. 

    My Activity Class is set to 10 and was changed yesterday morning but I didn’t see any difference so I’m just going to log a ticket. 

  • and given screenshots to show that it’s not counting my calories outside of activities

    No, you did not. The only screenshot from Garmin Connect you posted was just the daily HR, additionally without the scale, hence rather useless. Then you postead a completely irrelevant screenshot from Cronometer. You did not show what Calories Garmin Connect shows for the day, and for the individual activities, hence I cannot tell you whether it showed correct data or not.

  • The reason I used Cronometer is because, frankly, the Garmin Connect iPhone app Calories breakdown section is a piece of crap.

    It’s “Goal” section is influenced by the Activity Class by the look of my goal now, so doesn’t list RMR. And when I did have it set to 0 (which, now I remember, is the reason it was set to 0), the calculation was still incorrect and had me at over 2,000 calories at the start of each day. 

    On top of that, it forces you to use MFP, and MFP is an expensive/***-free version of Cronometer. As Cronometer imports everything from Garmin and breaks it down, that’s the easiest way to see the breakdown.

    Unless there’s a way to show daily breakdown without forcing someone to sign up for a 3rd party like MFP, I’ll consider this another failing on the part of Garmin.