Human body

entire structure of a human organism

The human body is the body of a person. It is the physical structure of a person.

Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man

The body is a thing that can be hurt or killed. Its functions are stopped by death. You need your muscles and your joints to move.

Study of the human body

Stomach colon rectum diagram numbered

Some people study the human body. They look at where it is different from, or the same as, other animals' bodies. These animals can be alive today. Or they can be extinct animals like other hominids. (Hominids are primates that are close to humans. Neanderthals and Homo erectus were hominids.) Some people study how the human body works and lives in its environment. Some people study what people think about their body. Artists study how to draw or paint the human body.

Fields of study


Many different fields of study look at the human:

  • Biology is a field of science. It studies living things. It looks at how the human body works. It studies how the human body came from evolution. It studies how genetics makes the human body.
    • Anatomy studies the parts of the body and how they work together.
    • Ecology studies the environment including how humans affect it.
  • Physical anthropology is a field of science. It compares humans to other hominids. It also studies all other hominid bodies. They look at how humans and chimpanzees are the same or different.
  • Psychology is a field of medicine. It looks at how people think and feel. The brain is part of the body. How we think and feel comes from the brain. So psychologists study the body. They study how the brain lets us be who we are.
  • Religion also talks about the body. Some religions see the body as where the soul lives. Some see the body as like a church. This is because a church is where people worship God. These people think God should be worshiped inside people. Some religions think the body is made from chakras that connect us to the universe.
  • Medicine sees the body like a machine. Doctors want to fix problems with the body. They study how to fix the problems, called diseases.

Parts of human body



Organ system


Various organ systems give the body the ability to live and do things.

The human body and other animals


The human body is like other animals. The skeleton, muscles and other parts are very much like those of other primates. Our body is also like other mammals, and somewhat like other vertebrates. DNA differences follow a similar pattern. The human genome is closer to that of other primates than to other vertebrates, and closest to chimpanzee.