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The human heart: An introduction

The human heart: An introduction

The average human heart beats 100,000 times a day

Atrium [ey-tree-uh m] noun.

Origin latin for “entrance hall” 1570-80. Either of the two upper chambers on each side of the heart that receive blood from veins and in turn force it into the ventricles.

Ventricle [ven-tri-kuh l] noun.

Origin latin for “little belly” 1350-1400. Either of the two lower chambers on each side of the heart that receive blood from the atria and in turn force it into the arteries.

How big?

The heart is roughly the size of two adult fists.

Where exactly?

The heart is actually in the middle of your chest and not to the left.

Lub dub, lub dub, lub dub

The heartbeat is simply the sound of its valves opening and closing.

Facts of the heart

• The king of hearts is the only monarch without a moustache in a standard pack of cards.

• There are 150 heart attacks each day in Australia.

• In Australia it is recommended that adults consume at least 500mg of omega-3 every day to help maintain heart health.

• Every 53 minutes an Australian dies from a heart attack.

• Laughter can actually relax your arteries. Your body responds to a good chuckle by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This can decrease your blood pressure.

• A study in The European Journal of Epidemiology found the risk of heart attacks was 20% greater on Monday for adult men and 15% for adult women.

• There are 96 million kilometres of blood vessels in your body, which is enough to wrap around the world twice, and then some. 

• Men have an average of 70 heartbeats per minute. Women average 78.

• The aorta, the largest artery in the body is about the diameter of a garden hose.

• Capillaries are so small it takes ten of them to equal the thickness of a human hair.

• Your corneas are the only body parts that get no blood from the heart.

• Right now, your heart is pumping five and a half litres of blood around your body. A newborn has only one cup’s worth.

• When relaxed, 16 seconds is all it takes for your blood to travel from your heart to your big toe and back.

• It takes three weeks from conception until the heart starts beating.

• Adults who sit less throughout the day have a lower risk of early death particularly from cardiovascular disease

A timeline of the heart

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