General

Functions of the muscles of the human body



Muscles: functions in body movement and support

Introduction

The muscles of the human body perform various functions that are of fundamental importance for the proper functioning of our body. It is in the areas of movement and force that they act most. There are several types of muscles in our body, and they perform different tasks.

Muscle Functions

Body movement

This is one of the main functions of human muscle tissue. This task is performed by the skeletal muscles together and integrated with the bones and joints.

Body stabilization

The positions we assume in our daily lives (standing, crouching, lying down, etc.) depend greatly on our muscles. Both skeletal and body muscles act to stabilize our body. This stabilization is possible thanks to the contractions of these muscles.

Volume regulation

This function is performed by the smooth muscle sphincters. They control, for example, the reflux of food from the stomach and bladder urine. This is possible because these muscles obstruct the exit channels of these organs.

Movement of substances in the body

The best example of this function is the movement of blood within our body. It is only possible thanks to the movements performed by the heart muscle, which through contraction and relaxation can pump blood through the blood vessels. This function also occurs in our digestive system, when smooth muscles help move food through the gastrointestinal tract.

Heat production

Involuntary contraction performed by skeletal muscles is capable of producing heat in our body. This function is important to keep our body temperature at the ideal temperature. When we are in a very cold place it is normal for shivering to occur as it is a way for skeletal muscles to produce heat and increase body temperature.

Last reviewed: 12/19/2018

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By Elaine Barbosa de Souza
Undergraduate student in Biological Sciences, Methodist University of São Paulo.