Cleveland Clinic Employee Health Plan



Pebble FAQs


Pebble Basics


1. What is the Pebble?

The Pebble® is a one-inch electronic physical activity monitor that clips to an individual’s shoe, belt, waistband, or bra to measure his or her physical activity. Click on the video below to see how best to attach your Pebble:




2.  How does the Pebble work?

The Pebble measures an individual’s physical activity via a mini sensor board within it called a 3-axis accelerometer.

When you wear the Pebble and walk past a wireless access point—also called a “sync point”, your steps or physical activity minutes will automatically upload to track your participation on the Healthy Choice portal.

Wireless access points (sync points) have been installed at all Cleveland Clinic hospitals and family health centers that allow you to upload your activity. Click here for a full list of all locations. 

A spouse or a plan member at a smaller or remote facility will be able to use a personal sync point to install on their home or work computer. NOTE:  If both you and your spouse are participating with a Pebble, your activity information can also be uploaded via your spouse’s personal sync point. 

Employees who encounter a prompt for an administrative security password when trying to connect the personal sync point on a Cleveland Clinic computer should submit a My Tech Request for “Fitlinxx SyncUtility” or "actihealth software" to be loaded onto your work computer.  Click here for My Tech Request link.


3.  What types of activities does the Pebble track?

The Pebble can detect walking, running, and activities on exercise machines, like ellipticals and stationary bikes — but  it does not count resting time.  The Pebble filters out non-step motions and provides a more accurate step count or activity time compared to other activity monitors such as manual pedometers.  Activities that are not step-based, such as swimming and aerobics will also track as exercise minutes, but only when the Pebble detects continuous motion for several minutes.  Moderate physical activity such as gardening and house cleaning will also track as activity minutes.


4.  Is the Pebble waterproof?



5.  Does the Pebble track my location?

No, unlike other devices the Pebble only tracks activity and does not have GPS in it.


6.  Can more than one person use a Pebble?

No, the system is designed to allow only one person to use each Pebble.


7.  How do I order a Pebble?

EHP members (employee or spouse) who have not ordered a Pebble before, can order a device at no charge on the Healthy Choice portal.  Click on "Device Store" to order.  Beginning May 1, 2016 all replacement device will be either Garmin Vivoki or Fitbit Zip devices.


Tracking Activity with the Pebble


8.  Once I have my Pebble, how do I get started using it?

After you receive the device, you will need to correctly link to your Healthy Choice portal account by clicking on "Devices" at the bottom of the page.  After you do this and are ready to start using the Pebble, simply clip it to your shoe, waistband/belt, or bra and “test” it by going for a walk near a sync point. After you accumulate a few minutes of data, walk within range of the sync point and your data will automatically upload.


9.  My spouse received a sync point to upload  data.  Will my Pebble upload via this device too?

Yes.  If you and your spouse are both participating with a Pebble, your information can also be uploaded via the sync point your spouse received.


10.  What is the minimum amount of activity I need to track each month?

A spouse or Caregiver desginated as, “healthy” (not enrolled in Coordinated Care) will need  a minimum of 100,000 steps or 600 exercise minutes each calendar month for any 6 months of the first 9 months of the year.


11.  How long does it take the Pebble to upload my physical activity?

Usually in about 5 minutes or less. 


12.  Does the Pebble re-set at the start of each new day?

Yes, although the Pebble can store up to approximately 21 days of activity data, at the start of each new day the internal clock resets the device display count to zero. So, if you worked out the previous evening and tap your Pebble at the end of the session, you’d see the activity recorded—but you would not see this workout time reflected after the clock has reset the next morning.


13.  How long can I go without walking past a sync point to upload my activity?

The Pebble stores approximately 21 days of activity. Then it will begin to overwrite the new activity information over the old.


14.  What if I am restricted from wearing the Pebble at work or on certain days/times? 


We understand that some participants may have restrictions on wearing electronic devices.  These restrictions may be religious or because of work conditions.  The thresholds of 100,000 steps or 600 minutes were set with these limitations in mind and are achievable using the Pebble during non-restricted days or times. 


15.  How should I wear the Pebble for the most accurate tracking?

For all day activity monitoring, the Pebble can be worn on your foot, waistband/belt, or bra.  For more strenuous activities, such as running, biking or elliptical training, the Pebble should be worn on the foot for the most accurate results.  Whether you wear the Pebble on your foot or your waist, you should always make sure the Pebble is securely fastened.


16.  How about putting the Pebble in my pocket?

The Pebble may provide some activity measurement if it’s in your pocket, but it won’t be as accurate there as it would be from your shoe or waist.


17.  How do I activate the display on the Pebble and measure my progress?

Hold it still and tap it 5 times to a steady beat. When it’s activated, you should see green lights displayed on the Pebble’s screen. Tapping activates the Pebble to cycle 1 full loop through all 12 lights. The Pebble will then go into a second loop of lights to indicate how far along you are towards achieving your daily goal.  Click on the video below to see how this works.

The Pebble is programmed for a daily goal of 5,000 steps, so if half—or six—of the lights are displayed, you are halfway to your daily goal.  You can also change your daily step goal if you wish.  See FAQ Number 20 below explains how to do that.

You can check on your number of steps online on the Healthy Choice portal. Click on "Devices" at bottom of page to change your device display goa.


18.  Do I need to activate the Pebble’s display for it to monitor my activity?



19.  How do I know for sure if my physical activity has “synced”?

If the lights on the Pebble are solid, there was a recent successful data sync. If the lights on the Pebble are pulsing, there are at least five minutes of activity to sync. Please note: If your pebble lights circle more than once after tapping 5 times, and data is not showing on your Healthy Choice portal account page, please contact Health Plan Customer Service at 216.448.2247


20.  Does the Pebble include “resting” time when I am working out?

No. It is a highly accurate activity measurement device and only measures activity. This means any seconds or minutes of resting time during a workout will not be recorded.


21.  If I go on vacation, will my Pebble still track my activity if I am far away from my sync point?

Yes, the Pebble has a very good memory. It will remember and store all of your activity data on average for 21 days depending on how active you are. A very active person’s Pebble may hold closer to 14 days’ worth of activity information. With a less active person, the Pebble will hold closer to 30 days’ worth of activity information.

If for some reason you go longer than 30 days without offloading your activity information, the Pebble will overwrite the new activity information over the old, starting with the oldest day of recorded information.

If you have a personal sync point, you can take it with you as you travel and download the software to a compatible computer while on vacation. You will need to install the software on any computer you use to offload data.

Note: When you return from vacation give your Pebble enough time to offload the first time you are near an access point. For a two-week vacation, as long as 1 to 2 minutes may be required to upload data.


22.  Can I manually enter data for days I forgot my Pebble?

No, the platform is configured to only accept data directly from the device. 


23.  Can I change my settings so my Pebble displays activity minutes?

No, the device is preconfigured to display only steps.  You can see how many activity minutes and steps you have online at the Healthy Choice portal website.


24.  Can I change my goal that the lights on the Pebble are based on?

Yes. Log into your Healthy Choice portal account and click on the "Devices"at the bottom of any page.   You will see a box on the right labeled “Personal Goals”.  To change these, click on “Edit”. Note: Only steps goals are linked to and displayed on the Pebble.


Battery Life, Replacements, More Information  


25.  How long will the Pebble battery last?

The replaceable CR2032 battery will typically last 6 to 12 months, based on your activity level.


26.  Do I need to charge my Pebble’s battery?

The Pebble does not need to be recharged.  It has a battery similar to a watch battery so when it gets low you can replace it.


27.  How do I know how much Pebble battery life is left?

When the Pebble display is activated, the lights will be green if the battery is good or red if the battery has less than 2 weeks’ of life remaining.  You can also check the battery life on the Healthy Choice portal by clicking on "Devices" at the bottom of any page.


28.  How do I change my Pebble’s battery?

The Pebble was designed for easy battery replacement. To change the battery, follow these directions:

  • Twist the cover slightly counterclockwise to unlock.

  • Gently remove the back cover.

  • After opening the Pebble, you’ll see a pry point in the top corner. Use either the tab on the end of the clip or a small screwdriver to remove the old battery.

  • Wait 60 seconds and then insert the new battery under the metal tab with the + side facing you.  Be careful not to bend the metal tab that holds the battery in place.

  • Turn the Pebble over and you will see a sequence of green lights that turn on and off in a clockwise direction, ending with 1 green light.  This indicates the Pebble is working properly.

  • Replace the clip and the back cover and turn clockwise to lock the case.  Make sure the end of the clip fits securely in the Pebble’s groove.


You can also watch this video to learn how to replace a Pebble battery.


29.  I’m wearing my Pebble alongside a pedometer. Why is the data for the two devices different?

All pedometers are engineered differently and have different sensitivity of motion levels.  Some pedometers pick up random motions, like tapping of your foot, and count this as steps. The Pebble is a highly accurate activity measurement device and is able to filter out non-step motions and provide a more accurate step count.


30.  What happens if I lose or damage my Pebble?

You can order a replacement device but you will be charged the cost of the device plus shipping and handling.  To order a replacement device, when you log in to the Healthy Choice portal site, click on "Device Store on the left of any page.  Beginning May 1, 2016 all replacement device will be either Garmin Vivoki or Fitbit Zip devices.

31.  Can I use my Flexible Spending Account to purchase a replacement Pebble?

You can use an FSA to purchase a replacement Pebble as long as you have a letter of medical necessity from your physician for using an activity device.


32.  Is the Pebble or sync point safe for use in a hospital?

Yes.  The Pebble and other Fitlinxx devices use very low power radio waves similar to a wireless mouse or keyboard.  For more technical information on these devices and their use in hospitals click here.


33.  Whom do I contact with additional questions?

Please contact Employee Health Plan Customer Service at 216.448.2247 (toll-free: 877.688.2247) or at




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