A human being can survive several days without food, a few days without water, but only a few short minutes without air. This element is essential to sustain life Without air a person could have permanent brain damage within five minutes

Why is air so important? The air we breathe contains oxygen. Red blood cells pick up the oxygen from the lungs and carry it to all the cells of the body Each cell needs oxygen to operate its powerhouses. Red blood cells then carry the carbon dioxide back to the lungs When we breathe out, this is forced out of the body with the oxygen-poor air.