Review: Body A Graphic Guide to Us

Posted on Oct 19 2016 - 4:55pm by Samantha Clark
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When the opportunity came up to take a look at this book, I lept at the chance. Sold to me on this basis that:  ‘The human body contains 206 bones, 100,000 kilometres of blood vessels and produces 25 million new cells each second. It is an unceasing source of wonder and yet most of us know remarkably little about it’.

It’s something I’ve thought for quite sometime. I truly know very little about the function of my body. You’re probably thinking the same thing with a possible ‘who cares’ thrown in for good measure. Well, I only really started to really consider its function and the effect it has on my health and wellbeing when it started to go wrong. It was another realisation moment that although school was suppose to build my knowledge base to help me further in the world, which it did/does in terms of career but the majority of that knowledge was not applicable to my specific journey as I am sure you’ll all feel very much the same way. More to the point, at the time, I couldn’t care less about science as it did not hold any passion for me so any basis that was applicable either wasn’t extensive enough or just not interesting at the time. But as I’ve become older and more curious, I like to think of Michael Forbes quote that ‘the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one’ but with that comes responsibility; never ending questions. But the pursuit of knowledge doesn’t or shouldn’t end once your educational path completes, the opportunity continues.

So as I’ve come to become more curious about the function of my body and it’s ability to make me feel well and happy, I became very curious about this book.

And it is quite interesting. It explores the bodies many different functions in both the young and old, of both genders, from an evolutionary perspective and all in a stimulating and insightful way. It throws in some fun facts (such as the length of such organs, cells etc.), definitions, descriptive functions, stats and more, in an easy to understand infographic format. One particularly interesting aspect was the use of energy; it outlines the energy requirements based on our lifestyle habits (sedentary, light activity, highly active) and breaks down the requirements into age and sex, you can then quantify the energy we consume in foods and compares this to the energy we exert in different activities- allowing us to further individualise our activities and eating habits to ensure we’re not becoming unhealthy.

Overall, although this book isn’t something you’ll likely read cover to cover, but it is one of those handy resources that can be used as your own personal point of reference whether you want to better understand the functions of the brain, identify poor health and how to take action on that or to becoming more healthy in nutrition, energy exertion and physical activity or perhaps as an educational tool for children’s development; the physical aspect will be of most interest to growing minds.

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