What is an Abdomen?


DEFINITION – What does Abdomen mean?

In reference to the human body, the abdomen is a large cavity situated with its back to the spine, spanning between the pelvis below, the thorax (chest) above, and fronted by the abdominal muscles.  Along its upper edge is the diaphragm, while below, there is no clear barrier with the pelvis. Often referred to as the belly, it is the body region that supports all internal organs other than the lungs and heart. 


In many parts of the world, people perceive the abdomen in different ways. In some cases, a large, obtuse abdomen (excess weight) is a sign of wealth and prestige, while in more developed regions, it is a sign of laziness and poor health, or a lack of exercise.  On the other hand, most civilized societies have sexualized and pedestaled the well-defined abdomen (the six pack) such as that of an athlete or active young male, and as a result, markets have spawned an ocean of products and services to help people in their often unhealthy quest to acquire them.

Regardless exterior perception, inside, the abdomen is a vital region, housing most of the body’s organs including the stomach, intestines, colon, liver, pancreas, spleen and kidneys. The abdomen is also where the majority of food absorption and digestion occurs. Surrounding these organs, the muscles of the abdomen are quite specialized, providing trunk rotation, flexion, and support, meanwhile aiding the respiratory system, protecting the inner organs, and together with the rear muscles, providing postural support.

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