The structural frame of the human body is a tree of bones that are linked together by ligaments in joints called articulations. There are 206 bones in the human body. Bone is a facilitator of movement and protector of the soft tissues of the body. Approximately 700 muscles pull on various parts of the skeleton, using the bones as levers to preserve a certain posture or to produce movement. These muscles are connected to the bones through cable-like structures called tendons or to other muscles by flat connective tissue sheets called aponeuroses. About 40% of the body weight is composed of muscles. Often the various large muscles of the human body produce forces that are multiples of the total body weight. Skeletal muscles contract in response to stimulation from the central nervous system and are capable of generating tension within a few microseconds after activation. A skeletal muscle might be able to shorten as much as 30% during contraction. The condensed outline of human anatomy presented in this chapter may be sufficient to follow the literature on human body mechanics. Nevertheless, the reader is recommended to consult an anatomy book for details and further insights. The references listed at the end of the book contain a number of books on human anatomy and movement science.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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