Ask Siri to Display Activity Data from the Health App

The iPhone stores a considerable amount of data about our daily activities in the Health app. Our steps, distance walked, and flights climbed being just a few.

Wouldn’t it be great if, rather than opening up the Health app and navigating around to find the information you need, you could simply ask Siri to read out a summary of your day’s activities?

You’d think that would be as easy as saying:

Hey Siri, how many steps have I walked today?

Unfortunately, your virtual assistant is pretty unhelpful in this regard, replying with a curt:

I can’t answer that on your iPhone, but you can find it in the Activity app.

Not very accommodating, but luckily the Shortcuts app comes to the rescue!

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to set up shortcuts, which will ask Siri to read out and display the health data you need. Then we’ll combine both those requests into a more advanced Shortcut that gives you a summary of several types of activity.

About Siri Shortcuts

If you haven’t used Shortcuts before, check out our tutorial, which should help to get you started. Put simply; the app allows you to combine a set of actions to speed up tasks on your iPhone or iPad. Once created, they are run using a custom Siri command.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the app, we’ll explain everything here step by step, so it should be pretty easy to follow.

How to build a Shortcut to display how many Health app steps you’ve taken that day

Steps Taken

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
  2. With the My Shortcuts page open, tap on Create Shortcut.
  3. Tap on the small blue circle with three dots inside to give your shortcut a name. Use something memorable, as is the command used to trigger Siri into processing the Shortcut. In this example, we’ll call it ‘How many steps have I walked today’.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Tap Add Action.
  6. In the search bar type ‘Health’ and select Find Health Samples from the actions displayed in the search results.
  7. The new action is inserted into your shortcut.
  8. Make sure the Type field is Steps (change it by tapping the word and selecting Steps from the list).
  9. Tap on the text ‘is in the last’ next to Start Date and choose ‘is today’.
  10. Tap on ’None’ next to Group by and select ‘Day’.
  11. Toggle the Fill Missing switch off.
  12. Tap the blue plus icon below the action to add another.
  13. In the search field type ‘Alert’ and select the Show alert action from the list. The alert action allows the shortcut to show the results of our actions.
  14. Tap on the blue ‘Do you want to continue’ text and edit it to say ‘You have taken’, then tap on the Health Samples variable displayed above the keyboard. Then type ‘steps so far today’ after the variable.
  15. Tap on ‘Show More’ and toggle off the Show Cancel Button switch.
  16. We’re almost there! Now, to test the shortcut, then the blue arrow icon at the bottom right of the screen to play through the steps.
  17. If successful, the number of steps you’ve taken that day should pop up on your screen.
  18. Tap Done at the top right of your screen, and the shortcut is added to your library.

Now for the fun part, time to trigger your new shortcut.

Hey Siri, how many steps have I taken today?

Siri should then display and speak the results to you, depending on your Siri settings.

How to build a Shortcut to display the Health app distance you’ve walked that day

Distance Walked
  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
  2. With the My Shortcuts page open, tap on Create Shortcut.
  3. Tap on the small blue circle with three dots inside to give your shortcut a name. Use something memorable, as this is the command used to trigger Siri into processing the Shortcut. In this example, we’ll call it ‘How far have I walked today’.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Tap Add Action.
  6. In the search bar type ‘Health’ and select Find Health Samples from the actions displayed in the search results.
  7. The new action is inserted into your shortcut.
  8. Make sure the Type field is Walking + Running Distance (change it by tapping the word and selecting Walking + Running Distance from the list).
  9. Tap on the text ‘is in the last’ next to Start Date and choose ‘is today’.
  10. Tap on the unit of distance you want to use.
  11. Tap on ’None’ next to Group by and select ‘Day’.
  12. Toggle the Fill Missing switch off.
  13. Tap the blue plus icon below the action to add another.
  14. In the search field type ‘Round’ and select the Round Number action from the list. (This takes the distance you’ve walked and presents it in a readable format).
  15. The Health Samples variable should already be inserted in the action.
  16. Tap on Ones Place and select Hundredths from the list.
  17. Tap the blue plus icon below the action to add another.
  18. In the search field type ‘Alert’ and select the Show alert action from the list.
  19. The alert action allows the shortcut to show the results of our Shortcut.
  20. Tap on the blue ‘Do you want to continue’ text and edit it to say ‘You have walked’, then tap on the Rounded Number variable displayed above the keyboard. Type ‘kilometres (or whichever unit you chose in the action) so far today’ after the variable.
  21. Tap on ‘Show More’ and toggle off the Show Cancel Button switch.
  22. We’re almost there! Now, to test the shortcut, then the blue arrow icon at the bottom right of the screen to play through the steps.
  23. If successful, the distance you’ve walked that day should pop up on your screen.
  24. Tap Done at the top right of your screen and the shortcut will be added to your library.

Now trigger your shortcut:

Hey Siri, how far have I walked today?

Siri should then display and speak the results to you, depending on your Siri settings.

How to build a Shortcut to display several types of Health app data at once

The previous two examples work well if all you want to do is access one type of data at a time, but what if you’d prefer to have a summary containing multiple types of data in one shortcut?

The steps below will combine our two shortcuts into one, resulting in an alert which will tell you both how many steps you’ve taken, and how far you have walked so far that day.

Multiple Health App Data
  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
  2. With the My Shortcuts page open, tap on Create Shortcut.
  3. Tap on the small blue circle with three dots inside to give your shortcut a name. Use something memorable, as this will be the command used to trigger Siri into processing the Shortcut. In this example, we’ll call it ‘How much walking have I done today’.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Tap Add Action.
  6. In the search bar type ‘Health’ and select Find Health Samples from the actions displayed in the search results.
  7. The new action will be inserted into your shortcut.
  8. Make sure the Type field is Walking + Running Distance (change it by tapping the word and selecting Walking + Running Distance from the list).
  9. Tap on the text ‘is in the last’ next to Start Date and choose ‘is today’.
  10. Tap on the unit of distance you want to use.
  11. Tap on ’None’ next to Group by and select ‘Day’.
  12. Toggle the Fill Missing switch off.
  13. Tap the blue plus icon below the action to add another.
  14. In the search field type ‘Set’ and select the Set Variable action from the list.
  15. The results from the previous action will automatically be inserted in the variable. For clarity, we’ll rename the variable to ‘Distance’. Tap on the variable, then on the Rename icon that appears.
  16. Tap the blue plus icon below the action to add another.
  17. In the search bar type ‘Health’ and select Find Health Samples from the actions displayed in the search results.
  18. The new action will be inserted into your shortcut.
  19. The ‘Distance’ variable will be automatically inserted into the new action. We don’t want this, so tap on the text and then Clear to remove the variable.
  20. Make sure the Type field is Steps (change it by tapping the word and selecting Steps from the list).
  21. Tap on the text ‘is in the last’ next to Start Date and choose ‘is today’.
  22. Tap on ’None’ next to Group by and select ‘Day’.
  23. Toggle the Fill Missing switch off.
  24. Tap the blue plus icon below the action to add another.
  25. In the search field type ‘Set’ and select the Set Variable action from the list.
  26. The results from the previous action will automatically be inserted into the variable. For clarity, we’ll rename the variable to ‘Steps’. Tap on the variable, then on the Rename icon that appears.
  27. Tap the blue plus icon below the action to add another.
  28. In the search field type ‘Round’ and select the Round Number action from the list. (This takes the distance you’ve walked and presents it in a readable format).
  29. Tap on Number and select the Distance variable we created earlier.
  30. Tap on Ones Place and select Hundredths from the list.
  31. Tap the blue plus icon below the action to add another.
  32. In the search field type ‘Alert’ and select the Show alert action from the list.
  33. The alert action allows the shortcut to show the results of our Shortcut. We can input our own text and add variables (in this case, a variable is the result of the previous action) to the alert.
  34. Tap on the blue ‘Do you want to continue’ text and edit it to say ‘Today you took’, then tap on the Steps variable displayed above the keyboard. Type ‘steps, and walked’ tap on the Rounded Number variable displayed above the keyboard, then type ’so far today’ after the variable.
  35. Tap on ‘Show More’ and toggle off the Show Cancel Button switch.
  36. To test the shortcut, then the blue arrow icon at the bottom right of the screen to play through the steps.
  37. If successful, the number of steps you’ve taken that day should pop up on your screen.
  38. Tap Done at the top right of your screen, and the shortcut will be added to your library.

Now ask Siri:

Hey Siri, how much walking have I done today?

Shortcuts can be a little daunting at first, but hopefully, these examples have given a taste of what is possible.

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