Fitbit Charge 2

Setting up the Fitbit Charge 2

Participants who are receiving Fitbit Charge 2’s should follow these instructions to setup a Fitbit account.

  • Download the Fitbit app on your phone through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Tap on Join Fitbit. Select Charge 2 as your device and then proceed to answer questions about you (weight, height, sex).
  • After that you will be asked to enter your Full Name, Email and Password.  Enter your name and then the Email and Password provided in the NetHealth welcome package. Please use your NetId email and the password that we gave you. Do not use your Notre Dame password.
  • After you have completed setting up an account, please email and put in the subject line  “YourNetId- Fitbit Activated”.

More information on setting up a Fitbit for the first time can be found here.

General Information

All participants are provided at no cost with a Fitbit Charge 2.  They are responsible for wearing it most of the time, keeping it charged, syncing it, and keeping it in working order.


The Fitbit Charge 2 is a very easy device to use and maintain.  Fitbit has excellent help pages and tutorials.    Fitbit has an informative Charge 2 guide and its manual is very thorough.  Below is some basic information and tips.

Wearing your Fitbit

The Fitbit device is very easy to wear and use.  The three most important things to remember are:

  • It does not have to be tight.  Keep it loose on your wrist, so it can slide up and down a bit.
  • Wear it on your non-dominant arm, that is the arm you do not use to eat and write with.
  • While the device can get a little wet, do not submerse it in water.  Take it off when showering, bathing or swimming.

If at any point you develop skin irritation or a rash take it off and give your wrist a rest.

Caring for your Fitbit   

Fitbit has excellent information here on care and wear. Here is a summary:

  • Keep it Clean:  With normal wear the band stays fairly clean, but are exercise or on hot and muggy days it may need cleaning.  You can rinse the band with water or wipe it with rubbing alcohol. Do not submerge the device in water as it is not waterproof, only water resistant.
  • Keep it Dry:  If it gets wet, dry it thoroughly.  A damp band can cause irritation.
  • Do not Wear it Too Tight
  • Give Your Wrist a Rest:  If you have been wearing it for a long time, the rubbing can irritate the skin, so give your wrist a rest and take it off for a bit.

Charging your Fitbit

The Fitbit Charge 2 battery should last between 3-5 days, so you do not have to charge it everyday.  Battery charge level is indicated on the smartphone app. You can also have Fitbit send you notifications via email or on your phone when the battery is low.

Charging your Fitbit is very easy.  Just connect the provided cord to the back of the device and connect the other end to a powered USB port or a USB charger.

Syncing your Fitbit — IMPORTANT

When you sync your Fitbit, data from the device is transferred to Fitbit’s servers so it can be displayed on your phone using the Fitbit app and on your personalized Fitbit website.  Once in Fitbit’s servers we can then download it to our secure servers, which we do once a day. It is therefore critical that you sync your Fitbit often so that we have the most up-to-date data on your physical activity and sleep patterns.  At the minimum your Fitbit must be synced every five (5) days.   While the Fitbit Charge 2 can hold a good deal of data, syncing within 5 days will make sure that no data is inadvertently lost.

There are three ways to sync your Fitbit:

  1. Sync your Fitbit using the Fitbit app on your smartphone.  Whenever you open the Fitbit app on your phone, Fitbit does an automatic sync of data from your Fitibt to Fitbit’s servers.  However you must open the Fitbit app for the sync to occur, and it is easy to forget to do this often, unless you look at your Fitbit data with the phone app.
  2. Turn on “All-Day Sync” which can be found in the device settings using the Fitbit smartphone app.   Then your Fitbit will automatically sync every 15 minutes, where or not the app is open.  Note that when All-Day Sync is on, the phone will consume more of your battery.
  3. Use the wireless sync dongle provided with your Fitbit.  This dongle plugs into a USB port on your computer. You need to download and install the Fitbit Connect app for your Mac or PC.  Click here for information on how to use the dongle. Once everything is setup, whenever you are Fitbit is near your computer it will automatically sync.  This is an old way that Fitbit did syncing and may not work as well as it use to.

Click here for more information on how to sync your Fitbit.

Viewing your activity and sleep data

Your data can be viewed either through your smartphone app or on the Fitbit website.  Fitbit is constantly updating the ways in which it displays your data, so it is best just to play around and see what information you can retrieve.  The website has the most complete data and displays, though the phone app is also very good.  The phone app has just a dashboard and by touching various panels you can get more detailed information both over a single day and across days.  Keep touching graphs and they will take you to more detailed graphs.

The website has both a dashboard and a log tab.  The log page will give you very detailed graphs and charts on activity, sleep, calories, etc.   Also on the website under your profile there is an Overall tab that gives you 30-day graphs of a variety of things.

Information available on the device

The small display on the device allows you to retrieve some basic information.  Pushing the side button will take you through displays for time, steps, heart rate, distance, calories burned, and stairs.  Double tapping on the watch face will show you the time, but you can change this in the account settings on the website to other information such as your heart rate.

If you hold down the side button for a second or two the device will go into log mode.  You can do this when you are engaged in an exercise activity and want to log it.  Holding down the button will end the logging.

Tracking Sleep

The Fitbit Charge 2 automatically determines when you have gone to sleep, so you do not have to do anything to indicate you have gone to bed.

Device Settings

You can customize a lot of things.  These  settings can be altered using the phone app or  website account settings panel.  On the website, go to your profile page and click on View account settings.  Here are some things you might want to turn on or change:

  • Call notifications:  The Fitbit Charge 2 can receive call notifications.  The device vibrates when receiving a call and the name of the caller appears on the device. This only works for call, not texts.  This setting can only be changed on the phone app (and not on the website).  From the dashboard tough the Charge 2 panel and you will see a button for turning on call notifications
  • Silent alarm:  This allows you to set a silent alarm so that your Fitbit vibrates when the alarm goes off
  • Challenges, Badges and Goals:  There are many ways to set personal goals and receive notification when you have succeeded.  The most basic one is the Daily Goal Progress which is set by default to 10,000 steps.
  • Customize Display and Clock Face: You can set what information is displayed on the Fitbit and the type of clock face used.
  • Tap Gesture: When you tap twice on the display the time will appear. You can change this so that other information will display such as your heart rate.

Settings you should NOT Change

There are four settings that we do NOT want you to change.

  • Password: Please do not change your password.  You must use the password that we gave you so that we can access your account and get data.
  • Dominant Hand:  Please wear your device on your non-dominant hand, the hand that you do NOT eat and write with.  By default the setting is for the non-dominant hand, though you can change it to the dominant hand. Please do not do this.  If for some reason you have to do this, please notify us immediately at
  • Sleep Tracking:  By default this is set to Normal. Thought this can be change to “Sensitive,” please do not change this.
  • Heart Rate: By default this is set to Auto. This save battery by turning heart rate monitoring off when device is not on your arm.