How your lungs work

Your lungs are incredible

Every day you take about 25,000 breaths, mostly without thinking. We’ve created this information to explain how your lungs work, including how you breathe and how oxygen gets into the bloodstream. We also explain how your lungs protect you and what you can do to protect your lungs.

Woman playing the harmonica

About your lungs - the structure of your lungs

On this page, we explain what your lungs are made of, their structure, and how they work. Learn more.
Man inhaling deeply in a forest

Why do we breathe?

On this page, we explain why you breathe, what you breathe out, and the muscles used while breathing.
Man sitting cross legged on the floor

How does oxygen get into the bloodstream?

This page explains how oxygen gets into your blood from the lungs, and how blood is carried around your body.
Woman stretching outdoors

What else do the lungs do?

On this page we explain the importance of your lungs, what can damage them and what you can do to protect your lungs.
Child blowing a dandelion clock

How children’s lungs grow

Find out how lungs develop in the womb and how they continue to grow after birth and through childhood.
Child wearing a face mask in the street

Risks to your child's lungs

Find out about early risks to your child’s lungs, the dangers of passive smoking and air pollution, as well as how you can reduce the risks.
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