This Valentine’s Day, millions of people will give heart-shaped gifts of all kinds, from lollies to cards. But did you know that the human heart does not actually look like the typical valentine shape?
Heart specialist Robert DiBianco explains more to us about this important organ.
According to Dr. DiBianco, the human heart is about the size of a fist.
“Because the heart is a muscle with lots of blood supplied to it, it looks red like meat,” he explained. “In people who are overweight . . . the heart looks yellow because it is covered with yellow fat.”
Most people believe that the heart is on the left side of their chest. But actually, the heart sits in the middle of the chest, tucked snugly between the two lungs.
But what does the heart actually do?
DiBianco explained that the heart works like a pump, pushing blood throughout the body. The heart moves blood by getting bigger and smaller.
“Each living part of the body needs blood to live, and that’s why it’s important for the blood to go to different parts of the body,” DiBianco said.
When you are exercising, your blood travels from your heart to your big toe and back in ten seconds! Through this process, a kid’s heart has to push blood through 96,560 kilometres of blood vessels. That’s like pushing your blood around the Earth two and a half times.
All that pumping your heart does takes a lot of work and the average heart beats a hundred thousand times per day.
That means that in a lifetime, the average human heart will beat more than two and a half billion times!
So this Valentine’s Day, you can explain to someone exactly what their heart does.