How do we move



How does our body work to move? How are we able to move around ?

Like always my five year old asks me impossible questions that I do not know how to answer for her to understand. Anyone out there have a great explanation for a 5 year old?

In: Biology

simplest explanation, our brain sends electrical impulses to our nerves that tell our muscles when to contract and to relax. when several muscles contract and relax the result is a movement! that’s why something like a taser is so effective and makes your muscles cramp up, the electrick shock short circuits your nerves and makes them all scream CONTRACT!

Explain it to her with a stick figure. For simplicity, assume each stick is a bone. Then illustrate with a string how muscles are attached across joints (for simplicity say they connect for example from the midpoint of the arm bone to the midpoint of the forearm bone). Our body has very long cells that extend from our brain to our spine, and from our spine to those muscles (the strings). When we want to move, we send an electrical signal via these long cells (neurons), like a wire, and this signal reaches those muscles telling them to become shorter. When the strings get shorter, the angle between the two bones gets smaller and you flex your arm. We have over 600 of those strings and over 200 of the bones (in adults). And they’re all attached at different angles and places, so when you want to move a specific way, your brain coordinates the amount of shortening of many of those muscles to create smooth movement. If your kid asks you how the muscles shorten, or how the electricity works, or how the brain works, I’ll explain those simply too. But for now that should suffice 🙂