Tired of your Apple Watch nagging you to stand up? You’re not alone. Read on as we show you how to tell the little smart-watch-wonder to get off your back. Conversely, if you’re into getting bossed around by your watch, we’ll show you how to turn it back on.

Why Do I Want To Do This?

Apple had the very best of intentions when they included the “Time to stand!” reminder in the Apple Watch. There’s been plenty of recent research about the hazards of sitting all day (and if you’re in the mood to convince yourself you’re going to die young because you spend all day hunched over at a desk feel free to check out this depressing infographic from The Washington Post or this article from the Wall Street Journal).

RELATED: How to Change Your Apple Watch Band (Without Spending a Ton)

With the dangers of sitting all day and Apple’s goodwill in trying to stop us from doing it acknowledged, we can also acknowledge that the implementation of the feature in the Apple Watch can be a tad annoying. Further, we totally understand why you would want to shut it up for awhile (or forever) so it stops interrupting you when standing isn’t an option (or when you’ve barely been sitting after a long and active day).

A reminder to get milk on the way home from work is one thing but constant nags all day to stand up might just be a bit too much for you. Speaking of the all-day element of the nagging, let’s take a quick look at how the reminder even works before we jump into disabling it.

One small thing worth noting before we proceed: even if you disable the standing nag the watch will still function as a fitness tracker that monitors your standing and sedentary behaviors so don’t worry about losing any of your personal metrics if you silence the time-to-stand reminder.

How Does The Stand Reminder Even Work?

One of the reasons the “Time to stand!” reminder irritates so many people is because the mechanism by which it works isn’t immediately clear. The way Apple programmed the reminder is very straight forward (albeit not very transparent to the end user). The premise is that sitting for more than an hour is bad for you. Fair enough. Research would certainly back that premise up. So based on that premise the Apple Watch will tell you to stand up and encourage you to move around for at least one minute every time the watch detects you’ve been sitting for the first 50 minutes of each hour.

Unfortunately the watch doesn’t take into account how much activity you’ve had that day (it doesn’t matter if you’ve been sitting for 12 hours or if you spent the whole morning hiking and riding your bike). Nor does it take into account movement (so if you’re driving your car for an hour it will chime and nag you to stand up even if you’re barreling down the highway in the driver’s seat).

In light of all that if you’re already a pretty active person who happens to sit for a spell every day doing work, gaming, or commuting, you may find it helpful to disable the reminder so you don’t find yourself yelling “I can’t stand! I’m in the (@#$ car!” every afternoon.

Disabling the Stand Reminder

There are two ways you can disable the reminder. You can disable the reminder (both the stand reminder and other fitness goal reminders and notifications) for the day. Temporarily disabling them is a nice compromise when you know you’ll be spending long hours on a plane or at your desk but otherwise generally still enjoy getting the reminders. You can also, per the focus of this article, permanently disable it.

To do so you need to open up the My Watch app on the paired iPhone (there’s no way to make the adjustment from the Apple Watch itself) and scroll down until you see the entry for the “Activity” settings, as seen above.

Inside the “Activity” menu you’ll find two relevant entries. The first is “Mute Reminders for One Day” which, if checked, will mute the reminders for the remainder of the current calendar day. The second is “Stand Reminders” which, if unchecked, will disable watch-based stand reminders until it is toggled back on in the future (if you desire to receive the reminders again).

Remember, as noted earlier in the article, disabling the “Stand Reminders” does not stop the Apple Watch from functioning as a fitness tracker and it will continue to record all your fitness activity, including standing and sedentary periods.


Have a pressing tech question about Apple Watch notifications, reminders, or other features and functions? Shoot us an email at ask@howtogeek.com and we’ll do the best we can answer them.

Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in Chief of LifeSavvy, How-To Geek's sister site focused life hacks, tips, and tricks. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at Review Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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