Definition of the Skeletal System

The skeletal system provides the framework and support for our bodies’ muscles, tissues, nerves and skin. It also protects vital organs, allows movement, stores minerals and, through marrow, produces blood cells.


The human body has 206 bones. These bones serve as a framework on which organs, muscles and tissue attach.

Axial Skeleton

The axial skeleton is the principal form of bodily support. It includes the skull, vertebrae, sternum and ribs. From these central bones, the arm are leg bones are suspended and able to swing.

Appendicular Skeleton

The appendicular skeleton provides a semi-movable support system for the upper and lower limbs. This section comprises the shoulders, hips, arms, wrists, thighs, legs and feet.


A joint is the point where two adjacent bones and their ligaments meet. Joints are an important part of the skeletal system, as they are directly involved with movement. Without joints, we would be too rigid to move.


Movement is possible through the interaction of the muscular system and skeletal system. Muscles are the pulling force behind joints. Muscles are connected to the bones. When the muscles of two different bones contract, they are pulled together, which moves the joint.

The skeletal system provides the framework and support for our bodies' muscles