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Physical Education

The skeleton, bones and joints

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Skeletons are far from scary, they’re actually pretty amazing. Packed with over 200 bones, skeletons protect, shape, support and move our bodies, as well as producing red blood cells in the bone marrow. Your vertebral column or spine is divided into five sections and influences movement during sport. Joints are also important, giving you the freedom to flex or rotate parts of your body. However this gets harder with age, as your bones lose their strength and density.

Functions of the skeleton

The skeleton has over 200 bones. For the exam you need to be able to identify the main bones in the body.

You also need to understand the five functions of the skeleton. These are:

  1. Protection - the cranium and ribs protect the brain and vital organs in the chest.
  2. Shape - gives shape to the body and makes you tall or short.
  3. Support - holds your vital organs in place when playing sport. The vertebral column holds the body upright.
  4. Movement - muscle are attached to bones, which are jointed. When the muscles contract the bones move.
  5. Blood production - red blood cells (to carry oxygen) and white blood cells (to protect against infection) are produced in the bone marrow of some bones.

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