The amazing human body
This column has nothing to do with your business. But it has everything to do with appreciating and respecting all the work that your body does for you every day. And, besides that, the information I’ve gleaned on the subject is simply fascinating!
Sometimes, we may feel like our body is letting us down, especially as we get older. But we should stop and think about all the incredible work that our body is doing every day. Below is a list of some of the amazing stuff going on in our bodies every day:
1. Our heart pumps about 2,000 gallons (7,571 litres) of blood through its chambers every single day. It beats more than 100,000 times a day to achieve this incredible feat.
2. We take about 17,000 breaths every day, and don’t have to think about a single one of them.
3. While cancer is definitely one of the biggest health challenges we face, every day our body tries to prevent us from getting cancer about 1,000 times every day. Cancer is formed when cells are altered in a way which re-programs their DNA. It is estimated that tens of thousands of cells suffer cancer-causing lesions every day. But our body sends special enzymes scuttling around to inspect DNA strands for faults and fixes them before they turn into tumours.
4. The cells in our stomach lining produce an alkaline substance every few milliseconds to neutralize stomach acids which are strong enough to dissolve metals.
5. We blink about 28,000 times a day with each ‘blink’ lasting just a tenth of a second. This voluntary reflex keeps our eyes clean and moist, which is critical given that 90% of the information we receive and process is visual.
6. Our red blood cells literally race around our body taking less than 60 seconds to complete a full circuit. This means that each of our red blood cells makes 1,440 trips around our body every day delivering oxygen and keeping our body energized. Each cell lives for about 40 days before being replaced by a younger model.
7. We shed more than a million skin cells every day, but they are automatically replenished. Our skin is the largest organ we have with a surface area of 18 square feet (roughly two square metres) in the average adult.
8. Our hair (if you have any) grows about half a millimeter a day. The average adult with a full head of hair has about 100,000 hairs on their head, so that’s a combined 164 feet (50 metres) of hair growth every day.
9. The brain and the mouth work together (sometimes not too well) to allow us to speak an average of 5,000 words a day if we’re a woman and about 3,000 words a day if we’re a man. I have nothing more to say about that.
10. Our liver is one of the busiest organs in the body. Every day it produces cholesterol, vitamin D and blood plasma. It identifies the nutrients our body needs and stores some away for future use. It filters 1.53 quarts (1.43 litres) of blood every minute and produces a quart (0.94 litres) of bile every day to help break down our food.
11. The glands in our mouth produce 1.3 quarts (1.5 litres) of saliva every day. Without this, our mouth would dry up and become overrun with bacteria and we wouldn’t be able to digest our food.
12. Each of our kidneys contains one million tiny filters that filter an average of 3,168 pints (1,872 litres) of blood every day. Our kidneys also expel an average of 2.5 pints (1.4 litres) of urine every day.
13. Our body works over-time to digest our food and the process starts before it even leaves our mouth. When we smell food, our mouth automatically starts producing extra saliva to prepare for the digestive process. It takes six to eight hours for food to pass through the stomach and two days to complete the digestive process. The average person will eat over 11,000 pounds (50,000 kilos) of food in their lifetime.
14. Finally, all of our body cells are regenerating themselves every day. This means we have a new set of taste buds every 10 days, new nails every 6-10 months, new bones every 10 years and a new heart every 20 years.
Pretty amazing, eh? So, ‘thank you’ body!
Something to think about…
Women-led companies outperformed the average by more than double. An eight-year study of 11,000 publicly traded companies around the world by Stockholm-based Nordea Bank found that companies led by women had an annualised return of 25% versus the average of all companies at just 11%. So, clearly we need many more smart women in top management positions.
UPS drivers will almost never turn left. Here’s why: UPS’s vehicle routing software has determined that turning left is most often a waste of time and fuel because of the time spent waiting for traffic or signals to make the turn. Left turns also have a higher accident risk.
It is estimated that since 2004 the ‘no left turn’ rule has saved 10 million gallons of fuel, reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 tonnes and facilitated delivery of 350,000 more packages.
So, what study, analysis and decisions are being made in your business to be more efficient and more environmentally responsible? As we can see, small improvements can make a big difference.