What Are the Functions of the Skeletal System?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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An adult body has over 200 bones, all of which serve specific and important purposes. One of the main functions of the skeletal system involves providing support for the body and protection for its tendons and vital organs. Joints and muscles are connected to bones, making them essential for movement. Minerals are stored here and then released into the bloodstream as needed. Blood cells are produced in the skeletal system, and this in turn aids with breathing and fighting infections.

The shape and appearance of the human body is determined by its bones. This means one of the most important functions of the skeletal system is to create the framework for the human body. An individual's facial appearance is largely determined by the shape of his or her skull, while the length of the leg bones and spine play a role in that person's height.

Some bones are used not only to shape the body, but also to support delicate organs within it. An example of this is the skull, which is a protective covering for the brain. The ribcage protects the heart and lungs, as does the sternum. Vertebrae help prevent injury to the spinal cord, which is an important part of the central nervous system. Other bones serve to protect the tendons and cartilage of the kneecap, wrist, or ankles.


Aiding with movement is also one of the functions of the skeletal system. Bones may move in many directions depending on the type of joints they are connected with. Even so, all bones require muscles before they are able to move. This means tendons, ligaments, and muscle all work in conjunction with the skeletal system to make it possible for the human body to perform its daily activities.

Zinc, calcium and phosphorus are a few of the minerals stored in the skeletal system. These minerals are essential for strong bones, and phosphorus could be used to help rebuild cells and tissue. Both of these are taken in via food, and if excess amounts are consumed the remaining portions are then stored in the bones until needed. As a result, one of the functions of the skeletal system is to provide these minerals whenever the body needs to use its surplus.

A bone marrow fills the inside of many bones; this matter is vital to the production of blood cells. Marrow produces both white and red blood cells; each type has an important, distinct function. White blood cells help ward off infection, while red blood cells carry oxygen to the lungs


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