Breathing Facts

  • You breathe because every single cell in your body needs a continuous supply of oxygen to burn glucose, the high-energy substance from digested food that cells get from blood.
  • Scientists call breathing respiration: Cellular respiration is the way that cells use oxygen to burn glucose.
  • The oxygen in air is taken into your lungs, and then carried in your blood to your body cells.
  • Waste carbon dioxide from your cells is returned by your blood to your lungs, to be breathed out.
  • On average you breathe in about 15 times a minute. If you run hard, the rate soars to around 80 times a minute.
  • Newborn babies breathe about 40 times a minute.
  • If you live to the age of 80, you will have taken well over 600 million breaths.
  • A normal breath takes in about 0.4 liters of air. A deep breath can take in ten times as much.
  • Your diaphragm is a dome-shaped sheet of muscle between your chest and stomach, which works with your chest muscles to make you breathe in and out.