Did you know that about 40% of our body mass consists of muscle?  Our  muscles are important for a variety of things like locomotion, posture and heat production. Let us have a look at some interesting things about the muscles in our bodies!

Most of us have probably learnt that healthy cardiac muscle is constantly contracting and relaxing without stopping, but did you know that the busiest muscles in the body are the extraocular muscles? They are constantly adjusting the position of the eyeball in the orbit, and even when we’re asleep, during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. They are prone to fatigue after long periods of action though, such as reading for hours.

There are varying views on the strongest muscle in the body. The muscle that can exert the greatest force is the soleus muscle, a powerful plantar flexor in the leg. However, the muscle that can exert the greatest pressure is the masseter muscle, a muscle of mastication. It can clench the teeth with a force as great as 890 newtons! The largest muscle in the body is the gluteus maximus muscle, and the smallest is the stapedius muscle in the middle ear.

When it comes to thermoregulation, your muscles contract involuntarily to generate heat in cold conditions. Muscle movement actually accounts for approximately 85% of your body heat. On the topic of contraction, if we could hear sound below a frequency of 20 hertz, we would be able to hear our muscles contract and relax!

Have you ever experienced the feeling of falling in your sleep, then suddenly woken up with a jolt and your limbs twitching? This is called the hypnic jerk . It occurs when the brain misinterprets the relaxation of muscles as falling. There is then an attempt by the muscles of the limbs to regain the body’s balance.

That’s all on muscles for now 🙂

Stay tuned for more fun medical facts.