What do the lungs do?

Breathing, something that we don’t consider as an activity and sometimes take for granted. This is one function of the body, so crucial that our life depends on it. Breathing enables our cells to work by providing the much-needed oxygen that helps them work. It takes out the carbon dioxide that the body does not require. Breathing is what keeps us going. How does this function take place without us really putting in any effort?


  1. This complex and crucial system revolves around the organ called – LUNGS. Lungs and the other organs connected to it namely – bronchi, diaphragm and bronchiole are what makes up for the whole system.
  2. In order for this whole system to work smoothly and efficiently, the autonomous nervous system in our brain. This system is found in the unconscious control centre, it takes care of our vital functions.
  3. So, when we breath in the air, this autonomous control system signals the muscles around the lungs. The whole mechanism flattens the diaphragm and contracts the intercostal muscles which are found between our ribs. This helps the lungs to expand.
  4. Air is taken in from the nose and the mouth which travels through the bronchi and gets split at the trachea base. Then the air is received by each lung.
  5. Bronchioles are like tree branches present in each lung that receives the air and spread it through the lungs.
  6. Each bronchiole has an air sack called – Alveolus. The alveolus is covered in red blood cells capillaries. These red blood cells have the protein called The Haemoglobin.
  7. The lungs take in the air and spread the oxygen from it to the whole body through the capillaries and exhale out the carbon dioxide.
  8. The cycle continues with the help of the autonomous nervous system.


  1. Lungs inhale 15 to 25 times in a minute.
  2. We gain 10,000 litres of air each day.
  3. Lungs and tennis courts can be the same size.
  4. The right lung is larger than the left one, in order to make place for the heart.

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