This site was developed by leading
researchers in conjunction with the American Physiological Society
to educate the public and answer your questions about this fundamental
area of science.
Physiology (pronounced “fizzy-aw-low-jee”)
is the study of life. From the smallest unit (cells) to the
whole body, physiology helps us understand how all the parts of
the body work together – how you are able to eat, sleep, run,
jump, even breathe and keep your heart beating.
The study of physiology covers a number of different
describes the workings of all the organs of the body (like the heart,
lungs, kidneys) and the various cells (e.g., blood cells) and tissues
(e.g., muscle and nerves) that help us function. It helps us understand
how living creatures react to their environments, including changes
in temperature, climate, and elevation; how genetics affects our
body’s ability to function; and it gives us insight into how
everyday activities like exercise and sleep impact our health and
can prevent disease.
Physiology is the basis for many other life sciences.
Physiologists study the body both when it is healthy and when it
is out of whack. Physicians and other medical professionals need
to understand physiology in order to help their patients heal—that’s
why medical schools require all students to take at least one course
in the subject. Physiology is integral to what we know about the
body and the mysteries we will continue to uncover.
Browse the site to find out more information
about the study of physiology, what physiologists do, and the cutting
edge research that physiologists work on every day.
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