Functions of Skeletal System - How Skeletal System Works

The beautiful posture of your body and the versatility & complexity of functions you perform in your routine life are all owed to the existence and health of your skeletal system. Among a multitude of vital functions performed by the structural framework of your body, 6 are of primary importance. These include the essential accomplishments, like movement, support, protection, storage, blood corpuscle production and endocrine regulation. Let's have a bird eye view of these life-supporting functionalities, as described under:


You can have an idea about the supreme importance of movement that it is one of the major signs of the presence of life in an object, a thing or an entity. Here it is also worth noticing that if there were a single large bony structure in the body, the active and swift movement activities would have been almost impossible for you to perform. It is only primarily because of the firm and flexible joining of the 206 bones through which you can do all the dynamic tasks. Similarly, movement would not have been possible without the assistance and active participation of ligaments, muscles and tendons. All this is done via the formation of a large number of levers in the body, where the joints act as axis or fulcrum while the muscles crossing the joint serve as a source of force for the movement of a weight or resistance. The energy needed for the execution of these tasks is extracted from the food via metabolic processes.


The hard and firm bony framework in your body serves to protect many delicate and vital internal organs. For example, heart, lungs, liver, spleen and gall bladder are protected by the rib cage and the sternum. Likewise, the master organ brain is guarded by skull, which is one of the hardest bony structures in the body. You can have an idea about the protective potential of the skull that, regarding its hardness, it can be compared with the coconut shell, and there is needed a considerable force to break it apart. This is the very reason that in most of the horrible roadside accidents, many other bones get fractured but skull remains intact.


The third most important function of the skeletal system is to provide support to all the structures of your body. It is owed to the functionality of your skeletal system that you can stand in erect form and maintain a beautiful body posture. The bones of the vertebral column, the pelvis and the legs work in mutual coordination to hold your body up. Teeth are supported by the mandible, while nearly all the bones provide direct or indirect support for all the soft organs and muscles.


The bones of our skeletal system also serve the purpose of the storage of fatty acids as well as certain essential minerals, which are utilized later on as needed by the body. Among the most notable mineral substances stored in the bones, there include calcium and phosphorus. In addition, bones also act as reserves for the storage of various growth factors; such as transforming growth factor; insulin-like growth factors; bone morphogenetic proteins; and so on.

Blood Formation

The bone marrow, found in the inner cavity of the bones, takes part in the formation of blood and the blood cells. At the same time, most cells of the immune system are also produced herein. In the process, called hematopoiesis, blood cells are produced in the marrow located within the medullary cavities of the long bones and the interstices of the cancellous bones.

Mineral Homeostasis

The maintenance of the perfect balance of different mineral substances is also one of the primary functions of the skeletal system. In this mechanism, excess quantities of minerals get stored in the bones and are released into the blood stream when needed for the accomplishment of vital activities in the body.

Acid-Base Balance

It has also been found that bones play a part in the regulation of optimum pH level of the blood. In order to buffer the blood against excessive pH changes, the bones either absorb or release the alkaline mineral substances into the blood stream. In this way, optimum acid-base balance is maintained for the successful completion of the vital enzymatic reactions taking place in the body.

Sound Transduction

The process of the conversion of the vibrational energy of the sound waves into electrical or neural energy is called sound transduction. The process of sound transduction is facilitated by the bones present in the ear. In addition, the bones also play an important role in the mechanical aspect of the overshadowed hearing.


The bone tissues are capable of removing certain heavy metals and other foreign elements from the blood and carrying out their detoxification. After reducing the effects of the harmful substances on the healthy body tissues, they are finally released for excretion.

Role in Endocrine System

Another important function of the bones is to control the metabolism of phosphate. For this purpose, FGF-23 (Fibroblas Growth Factor - 23) is released by the bones, which acts on the kidneys for the reduction of the phosphate reabsorption. Similarly, for the regulation of blood sugar and fat deposition, the bone cells release a hormone, called osteocalcin. Among the multiple functionalities of osteocalcin hormone, there include increase in the secretion of insulin and sensitivity; reduction of stored fat; and boost up in the number of insulin-producing cells.

About the Author

Posted by: M. Isaac / Senior writer

A graduate in biological sciences and a PhD scholar (NCBA&E University, Lahore), M. Isaac combines his vast experience with a keen and critical eye to create practical and inherently engaging content on the human body. His background as a researcher and instructor at a secondary school enables him to best understand the needs of the beginner level learners and the amateur readers and educate them about how their body works, and how they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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