Interpret Your Daily Movement Graph
Below, we share some guidance to put into practice while interpreting the daily movement graph included in your Activity tab. Outlined according to general health recommendations from national organizations such as the CDC, in combination with Oura's perspective on a well-balanced, active, and thriving lifestyle—we go over the following frameworks from which you can base your interpretations:
On the Daily
On Active Days
On Recovery Days
Your Daily Movement Graph.
What to Optimize For.
1. On the Daily
Overall, Oura recommends you strive to limit the frequency of dark grey vertical bars at the bottom of your daily movement graph labeled 'inactive’ as much as possible throughout all your days. These represent your accumulation of inactive time over the course of each day. If you recall from our Activity Contributors Guide, obtaining more than 10 hours of total inactive time in a single day will negatively impact your Activity Score.
2. On Active Days
Oura follows suit with general cardiovascular health recommendations for adults—meaning, we suggest the average healthy individual aim to engage in medium-to-high intensity physical activities/exercises 3+ times per week. Let’s dive deeper into what that actually means, first.
Medium-intensity activities noticeably increase your heart and breathing rate (e.g., jogging, elliptical, dancing, hiking, rollerskating). You may work up a slight sweat, but you’re still able to carry on a conversation.
High-intensity activities leave you huffing and puffing (e.g., HIIT, skiing, cycling, rowing, kickboxing, running). You'll likely experience a heavy increase in heart rate and only be able to speak a few words at a time while you remain engaged.
A physical exercise, as defined by Oura, means at least 10 minutes of high-intensity body movement or at least 45 minutes of medium-intensity body movement.
This all being said, if it’s one of your designated days to get your heart rate up and running, you’ll want to see at least 10 minutes displayed in the white horizontal bar labeled high directly beneath your daily movement graph, or 45 minutes in the light blue horizontal bar labeled medium. These values will also correlate with the thin vertical bars displayed in your main movement graph, documenting the time of day you completed your exercise in tandem (look to the x-axis for exact time stamps).
3. On Recovery Days
Oura advocates you give yourself at least 1-2 recovery days for every 5 days that pass. This, of course, will vary depending on your lifestyle and personal circumstances—as well as situationally (e.g., you recently completed a physical competition, have been traveling, etc.). To optimize your recovery days, Oura recommends you don’t do anything vigorous, but don’t remain completely inactive either. Rather, do something that gets your body moving (e.g., a walk, light yoga, or stretching) without placing too much strain on yourself. This will promote blood flow to your muscles and throughout your systems, naturally accelerating your rejuvenation.
If it’s one of your dedicated recovery days, it’s perfectly fine to see time reflected in the low-intensity horizontal bar (shown in blue, directly beneath medium-intensity in light blue) as well as on your daily movement graph. However, you shouldn’t see more than 15 minutes of high-intensity movement (i.e., white horizontal bar) or 85 minutes of medium and high-intensity activity combined (i.e., white and light blue horizontal bars).
A general rule of thumb is to take a quick glance at your daily movement graph, or the chart at the very top of your Activity tab, and ensure the proportions of light blue and white vertical bars are kept at a minimum. Otherwise, you may blunt your body’s ability to properly restore itself, potentially causing your rest day to work against itself.