When we reviewed the New York Times 7 minute workout app last year, Dr. Saif Usman — our Sports Medicine physician columnist, gushed at how he would start recommending the 7 minute work out app to most of his patients. The Scientific 7 minute workout is based on a research paper published in the prestigious American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), titled — “HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results with Minimal Investment” 1.

The New York Times has made a webapp of the 7 minute workout, but not a standalone app. While the app was reviewed very favorably by Dr. Usman, we still wanted to see a standalone app as well that could be downloaded onto a patient’s smartphone. Having a standalone app has many advantages, such as being able to utilize notifications to give reminders to exercise, tracking exercise activity, and many more features that we’ll mention later.

There are now more than 300 “7 minute workout” type of apps available for the iOS and Android platform. Few are from reputable organizations, which is why we were fans of the New York Times taking the initiative to create a webapp for people to use.

When prescribing a health app to a patient, not only do you want to make sure the app is evidence based, but you want to make sure it comes from a reputable source (reference iPrescribeApps — the prescribing platform).

That’s why I’m excited about Johnson and Johnson’s 7 minute work app. It’s based on solid scientific evidence, is free to use, doesn’t require you to purchase exercise equipment, and is from a reputable company.

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  • Price
    • Free
  • Evidenced based, free to use, doesn’t require you to have a gym membership, can be done in 7 minutes, and all you need is a chair and a wall. My other likes for this app are basically all the features the New York Times 7 minute workout webapp doesn’t have:

    Key features Johnson and Johnson’s app has that the New York Times webapp doesn’t have:

    – Set your overall fitness level
    – Establish your current motivation level
    – Has Apple Watch companion app
    – Get video tutorials of the individual exercises
    – Set “inactivity” reminders
    – Ability to link with Facebook and Twitter
    – Connect with Apple Health app
    – Connect with Walgreens Balance Rewards
    – “Like” and “Dislike” specific exercises

  • Dislikes

    Apple Watch integration could be tremendously better. While you can control the iPhone app with your Apple Watch by pausing and going to next exercises, the Apple Watch is more of a remote control than an actual fitness companion.  You can look at the current exercise with your Apple Watch, but you aren’t given haptic feedback on the watch or prompted when the next activity is.  Further, Johnson and Johnson’s Apple Watch app doesn’t give you a summary breakdown of your heart rate, and workout intensity. In general the Apple Watch companion app for 7 minute workout would be a lot more useful if you could utilize it in more of a standalone fashion.

  • Overall

    So many times we hear how patient’s don’t have time to exercise or can’t go to the gym — Johnson and Johnson’s 7 minute workout app solves all of this. No extra equipment is required, and you don’t even need a smartphone for use since you can download it on tablets as well.  It comes from a reputable organization, is free to use, and has a robust development team behind it that produces frequent updates.

    The only thing lacking right now is the companion Apple Watch app, and in subsequent updates we would like to see a more robust companion app that has more functionality.

    Overall, Johnson and Johnson’s 7 minute workout app is exciting and one physicians should consider prescribing to patients who have smartphones and need to increase their overall physical activity.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface
  • Multimedia Usage

    great videos explaining each exercise

  • Price
  • Real World Applicability

    Evidence based workout

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad