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What Is the Physics of the Human Body?

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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 10 April 2014
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The physics of the human body describe all of the movements that take place in a physical sense. Physics can be applied to almost any object, from the most massive geographical mass to the most minute subatomic particle. The laws of physics are thought to be universal, applicable to all objects lying therein. While more advanced laws of this discipline are reserved for highly educated individuals, there still remains a relatively simple description of the physics of the human body.

Scientists use the physics of the human body to describe the body as a whole, a system of the body, an organ, a cell, or even a single atom. All of these units are affected by physical laws. Physics attempts to explain the interactions between objects. A force, for example, which is a common term in physics, describes an influence that causes an object to undergo a change in motion. If a body is at rest, a force must be incurred to cause this body to go into motion — once in motion, forces must occur to cause it to go to rest again.

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Some physical laws seem to ignore the realities of the world we live in. For example, if, in a thought experiment a ball rolled and no external force was applied, theoretically, the ball would roll forever. In the real world, there are things like friction and wind resistance that may cause the ball to stop rolling. Many scientific disciplines rely on models to develop theories that are then applied to the real world. This is one difficulty of creating a practical use for some theories.

There are many people whose jobs rely on or are affected by the physics of the human body. Athletes, for one, are able to manipulate their bodies in ways that allow the physics of the human body to favor them in particular tasks. The physics of the human body can also be negative, with gravity over time causing aging and compounding pressure on a person's joints, ultimately leading to pain and disease in many cases.

Due to the complexities of the physics of the human body, understanding each detail can require a lifetime of study. When looked at in a more simplistic point of view, however, it simply describes the body under the laws of physics. Everything is affected by physics, from the way a body's organs work to the way a star shines.

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Discuss this Article

John57
Post 2

I have never been much of an athlete myself, but am often amazed at what professional athletes have been able to train their bodies to accomplish.

Watching the Olympics is just one way this really comes to light. Some people may say they are just blessed with talent, but I think there is also a lot of discipline and motivation that goes along with that.

Our bodies are able to accomplish amazing things when we have the right training and put our mind to something.

I have always wondered if professional athletes like that remain in shape for the rest of their lives. Or do some of them get lazy, gain weight and let their bodies get out of shape?

If you let the law of physics naturally take over, you will lose muscle tone and gain weight. I think it takes constant discipline to work against the laws of gravity and physics when it comes to the aging process.

SarahSon
Post 1

I can say that I definitely understand the physics of the human body as I have gotten older. It seems like no matter what you do, gravity is going to win!

Everything starts sinking and sagging a little bit more all the time. I guess it is a good thing something like this happens gradually so we don't seem to notice it as much.

Even though I know there is no way to avoid it, I still try to exercise and stay toned up so it isn't as bad as it could be.

My husband is looking at having knee surgery because he has so much arthritis in his knees. Between his line of work and the physics of age on his knees, they are worn out and need to be replaced.

Even with the aches and pains that go along with aging, the complexity of the human body is still amazing to me.

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