Medical Professional Publications

Featured Clinic: The Play Strong Program — Improving Physical Activity and Nutrition Behaviors

(From the October 2017 Issue of MedStat)

The Play Strong program aims to increase a patient’s physical activity level. Visits are primarily performed in small groups with patients of similar skill levels, but patients can also be seen one-on-one. Play Strong uses play and introduction to new activities to engage children and adolescents to change the way they think about physical activity. Our older patients (ages 11+) also participate in exercises to improve their functional movements and use weekly goal-setting to encourage small changes to behaviors. Nutrition sessions with our sports dietitian are optional and can be requested on the referral.

The newly formed Play Strong Junior (ages 5-10) has equal participation for parents and/or guardians and automatically includes nutritional sessions at the same appointment as physical activity. For physical activity, patients play while the guardians learn strategies to change behaviors at home. Nutrition sessions include hands-on skills and helpful tips to eat healthy.

Referrals to the Play Strong program typically fall into four main categories:

  • Living with disease (e.g. arthritis, cardiovascular, diabetes, hypertension)
  • Overweight or obese
  • Recovery from disease and its treatments (e.g. bone marrow transplant, leukemia)
  • Exercise deficit disorder (healthy, but physically inactive to prevent future issues)

Referrals to this insurance-based program can be entered via EPIC (Sports Medicine Play Strong) or faxed to (614) 355-6072. For more information, please contact or visit

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000