• Biology

The Top Speed Of Every Bodily Function

The human body is in constant motion. Your blood flows, your lungs inflate, you pass gas, and your body hums along at high sppeds. But just how fast do these functions move? Some of them travel faster than a speeding car, while others move about as fast you can peddle a bike.

Of course, each body is different. The velocity of body functions varies depending on how healthy you are, if you're engaged in sexual activity or other strenuous acts, as well as environmental conditions. The mph of your bodily functions may not seem NASCAR fast but they will surprise you.

  • Your Diaphragm Moves An Inch Per Second

    When you breathe, your lungs inflate and deflate, but how does your body make that happen? One way they do that is your diaphragm moves to pull air in, and then push it out. This happens all day, every day, though the breathing rate may change. No matter how quickly you are breathing, your diaphragm moves at about an inch per second.

    That's a little more than .05 miles per hour. It may not seem like much, but give the diaphragm it's due credit: It helps your lungs pull in roughly two gallons of air per minute.

  • Normal People Chew About An Inch Per Second

    Competitive eaters appear to move their jaws at turbo speed. The truth is, they are, but they also use stomach stretching and breathing techniques. But how fast does a normal person chew?  When your teeth move up and down, they do so at the rate of about an inch per second.

    That may sound like a lot, and for the short distance that they move, that is pretty quick. But when you do the math and look at it in the scope of miles per hour, it's actually moving at a pretty slow 0.05 mph. Still, the swallowing part has got to move faster than that, right?


  • Food Moves Down Your Throat At .04 MPH

    Swallowing food can feel like you're bringing food into your stomach quickly, which is partly true. But once the bite of food enters your esophagus, it slows down. Waves of contractions down your throat bring food to your stomach at about three quarters of an inch per second, which is even slower than your teeth move when chewing.

    Translated into miles per hour, that's only a little over 0.04 mph, which is much slower than it might feel. Depending on how long your esophagus is and what type of food you are eating, the food can take five to eight seconds to reach your stomach.

  • Urine Leaves The Body At Half An Ounce Per Second

    Depending on how much you've had to drink, relieving your bladder can take a few seconds or up to a minute (or longer if you're Tom Hanks.) How much you've had to drink can also change the level of pressure on your bladder, which will in turn influence how fast urine leaves your body. While there are variations, of course, there is a rough average for how fast humans pee, and it's faster than you might think.

    It's not as fast as ejaculation, but urine exits the body at about half an ounce per second (with variance between ages and genders.) But with enough pressure, it can move even faster.