How your lungs work

Lungs are amazing organs. They allow us to breathe in the oxygen we need to live and breathe out a waste product called carbon dioxide.

How Lungs Work

There is always an opportunity to take better care of your lungs, and understanding their function is a good start. Read on to learn about how your lungs work, plus a few interesting facts about these incredible organs. For more support and information, please contact us.

Every part of your body needs oxygen from the air you breathe in order to survive. The delicate structure of the lungs performs the complex tasks of breathing and transferring oxygen to the rest of the body. At the same time, it helps protect the body from outside attack. Most of the time we are not even aware that our lungs are working, but they can be damaged in many ways and become less efficient at taking oxygen from the air and getting rid of waste carbon dioxide.

Every day we breathe about 22,000 times. Our breath, and our lungs, are incredibly fundamental to the functioning human body. Breathing is after all, a symbol of life.

Interesting lung facts

  • Your left lung is smaller than your right lung, to accommodate for your heart1.
  • 70% of waste is eliminated through your lungs just by breathing2.
  • Can you live without one lung? Yes you can, it limits your physical ability but doesn’t stop you from living a relatively normal life. Many people around the world live with just one lung3.
  • No matter how hard we exhale, our lungs will always retain 1 litre of air in the airways. This makes the lungs only human organs that can float on water4.
  • Oxygen only plays a small part in our breathing. The air we breathe contains 21% oxygen, but our bodies only use 5%, the rest is exhaled4.
  • Children and women are faster breathers than men because their breathing rate is higher1.
  • Humans exhale up to 17.5 millilitres of water per hour1.
Anyone can get lung disease. Take 2 minutes to check in with your lungs.