10 interesting facts about the heart
We all know that good health is vital to our wellbeing. Exercise, a healthy diet and sensible lifestyle is crucial to maintaining high levels of heart and circulatory health.
The heart is especially important because it pumps blood all around the body. This ensures the correct functioning of all organs and bodily processes.
Below, we highlight some interesting facts about the human heart and circulatory system so you can get to know more about this fascinating organ!
1. The heart beats around 100,000 times a day
That’s about 4000 beats an hour, and 66 beats a minute. The average normal (sitting) beats per minute is around 60 to 100 for most people, depending on age, fitness, and other factors. Exercise will vastly increase bpm, as will stress.
2. 620,000 people in the UK have increased heart risk
Approximately 620,000 people living in the UK have a faulty gene that puts them at increased risk of developing a heart condition. They are also more at risk from dying of an undiagnosed heart problem – a key reason why heart research is vital.
3. The heart pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood a day
A healthy adult heart will pump 2,000 gallons or 9,000 litres of blood a day. That’s a massive amount! But don’t be surprised. The human body is the most technical system ever created. It’s all designed to pump oxygen where you need it the most.
4. 50% of heart attacks are related to high blood pressure
High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, affects around 16 million people in the UK. Most heart attacks are related to high blood pressure. Eating well and exercising regularly can help keep blood pressure at normal levels.
5. A broken heart really is a genuine condition!
We’ve all heard the term ‘a broken heart’. But medical experts say this is a real phenomenon. The condition is caused by stress on the body, leading to similar symptoms of a heart attack. Relaxation can help minimise the risk.
6. Heart-related conditions cost the UK health industry £9 billion a year
Heart and circulatory diseases cost the health industry in the UK £9 billion a year. This massive sum is one reason why successive UK governments want to improve everyone’s health. Exercise and healthy eating are vital to preventing disease.
7. Coffee may be good for your heart
Numerous studies have suggested that drinking coffee may reduce the chance of heart-related illness. But the science is sketchy at best. Drinking coffee in moderation may help in some way. But high levels of caffeine may also be counterproductive.
8. The Heart is your bodies oxygen train station
The purpose of the heart is to pump blood around the body, but what is the purpose of blood? Well, blood carries oxygen to every part of your anatomy, from your head to your tippy toes. Every part of the body needs oxygen to stay alive, both inside and out. Ever leaned against a wall for a while to realise that your arm is dead? This is because the blood flow has been cut off and oxygen is not travelling to your arm properly, this is what causes it to go numb as the muscles and nerves are starved of oxygen.
9. Your Heart grows as you grow
Like a lot of organs, the heart starts off small and grows with the rest of your body. When you’re born, the heart is about the size of a walnut and when you’re fully-grown, it ends up as big as a large fist.
10. The pumping power of a heart
The heart is the strongest muscle in the body. So strong, in fact, that it pumps around 9,500 litres of blood through your body each day. And you thought your biceps were strong!
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