Riveting Facts About the Human Heart

Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body. Here we provide information about the location, anatomy, weight, and other facts related to the human heart.
Bodytomy Staff Oct 9, 2018
The tiny cone-shaped muscular organ of the human body is one of the marvels of nature. The human heart acts like a pumping machine by carrying out the basic function of supplying blood throughout the body. Following are a few details related to this vital organ:

Location

Human heart is located in the center of the chest. It lies slightly to the left, relative to center of the thorax- region between the head and abdomen i.e. behind and slightly left to the breastbone.

Heart Rate

The number of times a heart beats per minute is known as the heart rate. Each time the heart beats, blood is pumped into the arteries. While this blood flows, there is slight bulging of the arteries. This bulging is known as 'pulse'. The heart rate can be measured by counting the number of pulses in an artery within an interval of 30 seconds.
For feeling the pulse of a person, you have to place the first two fingers on the palm side of the person's wrist, towards the thumb side. You may be required to press firmly to feel the pulse of the blood.
We measure the heart rate by counting the number of pulses in an interval of 30 seconds and then multiplying the number by 2. The healthy heart rate for kids is generally between 90 to 120 beats per minute, while for adults, it is 72 beats per minute.

Weight

The human heart consists of less than 0.5% of the total body weight of the person. On an average, it weighs about 300 grams (in males) and 227 grams (in females).

Interesting Facts

When it comes to the efficiency and performance, the human heart is smarter and efficient than any other machine. Some interesting facts about it are as follows:

► An adult heart is the size of two clenched fists, while the size of a child's heart equals the size his/her clenched fist.
► During the entire lifetime, i.e., when the average human lifespan (about 70 years) is considered, the heart beats around 2.5 billion times.

► It pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood every day.

► In a day, the blood travels a total distance of 19,000 km
► The circulatory system, which comprises the veins, arteries, and capillaries, is so long that it can go around the globe twice.

► Raymond de Vieussens, a French anatomy professor, described the heart's structure in 1706.

► The first heart transplant operation was performed by Sir Christian Bernard in South Africa in the year 1967.
► The pulse sound is called ‘lub-dub’. The ‘lub’ sound i.e., the S1 sound represents the closure of the mitral and the tricuspid valves whereas the ‘dub’ sound i.e., the S2 sound represents the closure of the aortic and the pulmonic valves. The lub-dub sound marks the start and the end of the systole cycle respectively.
► The blood capillaries are so small in size that the thickness of 10 capillaries equals to that of one human hair.

► The heart starts beating from the fourth week after conception, and it keeps on doing so till the last breath.
► The largest artery in the body, known as aorta, is almost the diameter of a garden hose.

► The fetal heart rate is two times faster compared to that of an adult, approximately 50 beats per minute.
► While sleeping, the heart slows down a bit as your body does not need to work so hard compared to when you are awake. Therefore, the blood pressure dips by 10% at night so that the heart muscles and the circulatory system can relax and repair themselves.

Anatomy

The cardiovascular system comprises the heart, arteries, and veins. The heart pumps blood to various organs of the body through the arteries and veins. It is divided into four chambers: the right atrium, left atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle.
The right atrium receives blood from the veins. This blood is transferred from the right atrium to the right ventricle, which pumps the blood into the lungs. As the blood reaches the lungs, it absorbs oxygen, and this oxygenated blood enters the left atrium.
From the left atrium, the blood is transferred to the left ventricle. The left ventricle is hailed to be the strongest chamber since it is responsible for pumping blood to various parts of the body.
The heart is surrounded and protected by a sac-like structure called pericardium. While the coronary arteries provide blood to the heart, there are various nerves that determine the contractions and expansion of the heart muscles.
A healthy heart requires a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular physical exercises and a healthy diet.
Therefore, if you are into unhealthy habits, then quitting them would be the safest path to maintain the quality of your physical health.