Friday 7 December 2018

Breakdown of the skeletal system

The skeletal system is one of the most important components of the human body. At its most simplest it is the framework from which all movement occurs as well as the support and protection system of the inner organs of the body. It also produces blood and can also store minerals and energy.

In regards to the human movement system, the skeleton forms part of the musculoskeletal system, where muscles pull on bones, which act as levers, to create posture and produce movement.

The skeleton is divided into two divisions:

  • Axial: Usually contains 80 bones, including the the skull, rib cage and vertebral column.
  • Appendicular: Usually contains 126 bones, consisting of the the arms and legs, which attach to the axial skeletal.

Of these 206 bones, 177 are used by the body for voluntary movement. For movement to occur, the body depends on articulation in joints, which are junctions of bone, muscles and connective tissue. There are more than 300 joints in the human body.

It must be noted that children have about 300 bones when they are born, some of which are made up of cartilege in place of bone tissue. This number dwindles as a child ages as bones start to fuse together to form those we would recognise in a normal adult skeleton.

Axial skeleton Appendicular skeleton
The axial and appendicular skeletons (click to enlarge). Images from Wikipedia.

Articles within this series

Lyle Richardson,
Gym Pal - Your Friend In Fitness


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