BTEC National Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science ANATOMY The human skeleton Session 2 Part 1 Joke of the day! What do you call a stupid skeleton? A NUMBSKULL Quick Quiz Skeletal function The skeleton has six basic functions: 1. Support - most body tissues and some organs are fairly soft. Without the underlying support of the skeleton we would be shapeless lumps. 2. Movement/Leverage - the bones with their moveable joints and the muscles that attach to them form powerful levers. This not only allows us to move the body as a whole in locomotion and physical activity, but also with precision and control which is important in many activities (archery, snooker). Skeletal function 3. Protection - the skeleton protects vital organs necessary for our survival. For example the thoracic cage made up of the ribs, breastbone and spinal column protects the heart and lungs. 4. Blood cell production - the bone marrow manufactures red blood cells (oxygen transport) and white cells (defence against infection). Skeletal function 5. Calcium storage - calcium salts are essential for the healthy functioning of the body. The bones can store calcium, this ability to store is reduced in later life which may be associated with brittle bones in the elderly. In sports persons, low calcium levels may contribute to a higher incidence of stress fractures. 6. Muscle attachment – many bones have ‘bumps’ or rough areas on their surfaces that allow muscles to attach to them via tendons. For example the lateral malleoli at the end of the fibula Skeletal system: There are 4 main categories of bone, these being long, short, flat and irregular. Long bones - examples of these are the bones of the arms and legs. Effective at producing movement due to their length. Short bones - these are small bones which are very strong and well adapted to resist compression forces. E.g. foot and wrist bones. Bone categories Flat bones - these bones frequently have a protective function, such as the skull and the ribs. Irregular bones - these usually have mixed functions. Examples are the bones of the spinal column, the shoulder blades and the facial bones.