Frequently Asked Questions
Walk Across Campus | Fitbit
Q: WHAT IS THE WALK ACROSS CAMPUS?
A: Boston College has promoted a walking challenge called the “Walk Across Campus” since 2006. This began as an individual challenge that the Plex organized, and included upwards of 40 participants. In 2012, in an effort to engage more employees in wellness programming, the HEALTHY YOU initiative partnered with the Plex, and began to incorporate the distribution of fully subsidized Fitbit pedometers to team participants. Under the HY support, 850 participants joined the WAC in the Fall of 2012. The popularity of the program spread quickly and in the Spring of 2013, participation reached 1200. That level of employee participation was truly unprecedented, but in the Fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014, participation reached nearly 1400.
Multiple teams have reaped the rewards of the healthier, more active lifestyles encouraged by the challenges. With support from BC Benefits, BC Dining, the BC Bookstore, HPHC, and the Rec Plex, many have received prizes as well, in categories such as team and individual highest averages in Steps, Distance, and Activity points as well as for Most Improved.
Q: WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?
A: Any benefits eligible BC employee who wishes to join a team, is eligible to sign up. Teams are from 10-20 participants.
Q: WHEN IS THE WALK ACROSS CAMPUS?
A: Sign up for the Fall WAC is typically the first 2 weeks of September with the challenge running from Oct-Nov, and sign up for the Spring is the first 2 weeks of March with the challenge running from Apr-May.
Watch for global emails from Jack Burke for details and sign up information/deadlines of any future WAC programs.
Q: I LOST/BROKE/CAN'T WEAR THE FITBIT I RECEIVED. ARE THERE ANY "EXTRAS?"
A: BC provided one Fitbit per team participant via EITHER the online ordering noted above or via the limited onsite supply that will be distributed the week before the walk begins and we have no extras. Fitbits are covered under a 1 year warranty, directly with Fitbit. We can't speak for what Fitbit will do, but they have been very generous in the first year of warranty. The action and decision of follow up remains between Fitbit and the individual.
For any and all difficulties with your Fitbit unit, including if you have lost, damaged, or had personal issues with comfort or with charging or syncing your unit, or for general technical questions that your Team Leader can not assist with, please visit this webpage:contact.fitbit.com and submit your inquiry with any details.
Q: HOW DO I PARTICIPATE AND/OR BECOME A TEAM LEADER?
A: We are always interested in adding teams, participants, and new Team Leaders to the WAC. Watch for the announcement from Jack Burke at the start of the semester, as it will contain the necessary contact details, and we will gladly welcome you aboard. We typically have a Team leader luncheon in the month prior to each WAC kickoff, to review questions and expectations, and to thank Team Leaders in advance for the assistance that helps make this such a successful program.
If you have questions about using your Fitbit not answered below or feel that you need direct support, please contact your Team Leader and/or consult the Fitbit website at help.fitbit.com.
Users can also contact support directly by using the webform at contact.fitbit.com to create a support ticket. A customer support agent will respond to the inquiry via email. Fitbit does not currently provide robust live phone support, but we do offer a live chat option. Also, entering the ticket puts you in a queue, so your inquiry will be addressed in order of receipt.
Q: How does my Fitbit tracker sync with my computer?
A: Fitbit trackers will sync to your Fitbit account every 15 minutes, as long as they are within 15 feet of a computer with a plugged in base station (for Classic and Ultra trackers) or a wireless sync dongle (for Force, Flex, Zip, and One trackers).
Your tracker will only sync if it contains new data since its prior sync. If you are sitting still or not wearing your tracker, a sync will not occur.
You can view the time of your most recent sync by clicking on the gear icon at the top-right of the dashboard. This will show a menu that includes an icon representing your tracker type and an indication of its most recent sync.
A daily sync is recommended but not required.
All Fitbit trackers can record detailed minute-by-minute calorie burn and sleep data for up to 7 days, and daily steps, calories, and distance data for the preceding 23 days.
If you have the Fitbit software installed on your computer, once your tracker is within range of a base station (if you use an Ultra tracker) or a wireless sync dongle (if you use a Zip, One, Flex, or Force tracker), it will automatically upload any stored data to your account.
Q: How often do I need to charge my tracker?
A: It depends on use and the type of tracker.
- Fitbit Flex
- Your Flex's battery should last about 5 days.
- Increasing the number of alarms you have set on your Flex will decrease your battery life.
- Frequently tapping your Flex to check your goal progress will reduce the battery life.
- When charging your Flex, be sure to fully seat your tracker into the charger, with the charging contacts fully inserted into the charging cable enclosure.
- Fitbit One
- Your One's battery should last about two weeks.
- Increasing the number of alarms you have set on your One will decrease your battery life.
- Frequently pressing the One's button to check your statistics will reduce the battery life.
Please keep in mind that once you have synced, your leader board ranking may not reflect all of your data until the following day.
Q: How do we contact Fitbit for troubleshooting or replacements? What if an employee loses or breaks the Fitbit tracker?
A: Any employee who needs a replacement (e.g., for a lost or broken device) should contact Fitbit support online at http://help.fitbit.com/customer/portal/emails/new. A Fitbit customer support agent will respond via email to the inquiry. We can't speak for what Fitbit will do, but they have been very generous in the first year of warranty. In certain cases troubleshooting steps will be given, and in some cases the agent will offer a replacement, potentially at a discounted rate (depending on the nature of the issue), to the BC participant if the unit is no longer under the one-year warranty. The action and decision of follow up remains between Fitbit and the individual.
When prompted to give your proof-of-purchase information, please include the appropriate line based on when you received the unit in question:
- If you received your unit during the Spring 2014 WAC: "My fitbit was ordered by HPHC on behalf of Boston College, as part of the additional Fitbits Boston College purchased for the Spring Walk Across Campus Program, beginning April 2014, with 1400 active Fitbit participants." The HR contact is Anne Goroshko/Nicole Petitti.
- If you received your unti during the Fall 2013 WAC: "My fitbit was ordered by HPHC on behalf of Boston college, as part of the 1400 fitbits Boston College purchased for their Fall Walk Across Campus Program, beginning October 2013." The HR contact is Anne Goroshko/Nicole Petitti.
- If your unit is from prior to the Fall of 2013: "My fitbit was ordered by HPHC on behalf of Boston College, as part of the 1200 Fitbits Boston College purchased during their initial Fall and Spring Walk across Campus programming in 2012-2013. The HR contact is Anne Goroshko/Nicole Petitti.
Q: Will Fitbit continue to track my steps now that the Walk Across Campus has ended and will there be a charge or cost to me for continuing to use my Fitbit?
A: The dashboard and all other online features and tools, as well as the Android and iPhone apps that you enjoyed for free during the course of Boston College's Walk Across Campus program, will remain free! To clarify, Fitbit does offer an optional individual premium membershp for an annual fee to Fitbit, which includes the trainer feature and more in-depth analysis of the activity data. However, as noted above, regular membership and access to the Dashboard, group features, etc., that were available to you during the program will continue to be offered to you for free.