Five Reasons To Thank Your Bones
Everyone knows that our bones provide the framework for our body. But support is just one of the functions performed by our skeleton. We have five reasons for you to be thankful for your healthy bones.
Our bones are a marvel. They stabilize our bodies as we walk the dog, do the grocery shopping, use our computers, and perform all of the tasks that make up our day. But did you know that support is just one of the functions performed by our 206 bones? You have five reasons to be grateful for your healthy bones.
- Support for all of the tissues of the body. Our skeletal system gives our body shape and structure, and supports our soft tissues.
- Storage of important minerals and lipids. Our bones are the storage vehicle for calcium, the most abundant mineral in our body. They act as a mineral reserve to maintain the correct concentrations of calcium and phosphate ions in body fluids. Some areas of bone marrow also store lipids, which function as energy reserves for the body.
- Blood cell production. Our bones are factories for blood production. Many of our bones have cavities filled with red marrow. Red marrow manufactures the red blood cells, white blood cells, and other blood components.
- Protection of soft, vital organs. Many of our vital organs depend on our skeleton for protection. The rib cage surrounds our heart and lungs. The bones of the skull encase our brain. The stacked vertebrae of the spine protect our spinal cord. Our reproductive organs are surrounded by the bones of the pelvis.
- Engineering levers that expand our range of motion. Our muscles and bones work in concert to get us moving. We also use many bones, including those in our fingers, arms, and legs, as levers that amplify muscle function.
The next time you remind yourself to sit up straight, remember that while your bones are holding you erect, they are also busy with a variety of additional tasks to keep you functioning at an optimal level and protected from harm—even more reason to take preventative steps to keep your bones in top form.
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