Kw-logo-smaller

How The Lungs Work

Kidzworld takes a look at the inner workings of human lungs.
Lungs

Your lungs can breathe in and out as much as 36,000 times a day without you even having to think about it. Isn't it about time you reflected on all the hard work they do? We take a closer look at the inner workings of your lungs.

How Lungs Work - A Little Gas Goes a Long Way

Very simply, the function of the lungs is to absorb oxygen, a gas that your body needs to function, and expel carbon dioxide, a "waste gas" that your body can't use (no, not that kind of waste gas!). But nothing is ever as simple as it sounds. When you breathe in, your diaphragm and other muscles expand to allow room for your lungs to fill. The low air pressure in your empty lungs creates a vacuum that sucks air in from the higher-pressure environment. The air flows from your nose and mouth, through your trachea (windpipe) and into your lungs.

How Lungs Work - The Big Trade Off

Once the air reaches the lungs, it flows into increasingly narrow bronchioles (small airways that extend into the lobes of the lungs) until it reaches the alveoli (tiny, thin-walled sacks). Once in the alveoli, the oxygen in the air passes through the thin membrane walls and into the pulmonary capillary. From there, the oxygen binds to the hemoglobin in red blood cells. The red blood cells give back carbon dioxide, which then goes back through the membrane, into the alveoli, through the bronchioles, into the lungs and - woosh - is exhaled back out of your body. The oxygen that was passed off to the red blood cells is then circulated around your body.

How Lungs Work - Did U Know?

  • When removed for transplant, the lungs can survive outside the body longer than any other organ.
  • The left lung is smaller than the right lung to make room for the heart.
  • About 10,000 quarts (9,464 liters) of air go through your lungs every day.
  • The total surface area of the alveoli is around the size of a tennis court.
  • New babies at rest breathe between 40 and 50 times per minute but by the time they're five years old, their breathing rate decreases to around 25 times per minute.
Related Stories:
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

epicpyrotechnics
I have astma :P
commented: Sun Oct 20, 2013

InternetOwl

InternetOwl wrote:

We learnt this in science and they brought out a real pair of lungs and a heart :-x
commented: Thu Oct 17, 2013

blingluver369

blingluver369 wrote:

I think science class is TAKING OVER LoL haha xD
commented: Thu Oct 03, 2013

there are 7 more comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

F1161043538203

What % of Lung Cancer is Caused by Tobacco?

  • 30 per cent.
  • 50 per cent.
  • 75 per cent.
  • 95 per cent.

related stories

Micro_aa micro
What’s your ideal weight? The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a mathematical equation that is supposed t...
Micro_eva-markvoort-65_5f00_redroses-micro-2
Eva Markoot is the star of 65 Red Roses, a film based on the real story of Eva’s quest for a doub...
Micro_asthma_3-micor
Have you ever been runnin' along with buds, when suddenly you can't catch your breath? You might ...

Random in the forums

sparks4realyeah
yellow with white stripes
reply about 1 hour
taffypinkie16
I'm wearing a dress.. but its green
reply about 1 hour
heyitsangel
Blue n black 
reply about 1 hour
prettypink1
prettypink1 posted in General:
♡♥
reply about 1 hour
A16
A16 posted in Say Anything:
Bed time, gotta go!
reply about 4 hours

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

Big_icon_(7)

Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

Big_icon_(4)

You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

Big_icon_(6)

The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

Ow_fright_ad_100x100

Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...