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Finding the Body’s Balance: Understanding Homeostasis

Explore the role of homeostasis in maintaining life and investigate the factors that impact the body’s ability to sustain balance.

Man exercising drinking water

Discover the body’s self regulation processes

Homeostasis is a state of balance between all body systems that allows the body to function correctly.

On this four-week course from Whitireia, you’ll delve into the mechanisms of homeostatic control, from regulating respiratory gases to maintaining constant body temperature.

Identify the factors that affect our internal environment

You’ll explore environmental factors including exposure to pathogens, stress, and temperature, and how they impact the body. You’ll then learn how the key components of a homeostatic control system respond to such changes.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to explain how multiple systems work together within the body to deliver effective responses.

Examine the body systems that contribute to homeostasis

On this course, you’ll discover how positive and negative feedback systems help the body address various environmental changes.

You’ll learn how body systems regulate water, chemicals, gases, temperature, and blood pH to ensure the internal parameters of your body are kept constant.

Using this understanding, you’ll be able to identify a range of responses the body produces to react to different factors, both internal and external.

Explore the connection between blood glucose regulation, diabetes, and homeostasis

Certain diseases, such as diabetes, impact the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis without assistance.

You’ll investigate the body’s typical response to blood glucose regulation and learn how this differs in people with diabetes, understanding how a lack of equilibrium can lead to severe health problems or death.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to explain homeostatic processes, identifying body systems that help maintain homeostasis and the internal and external factors that affect homeostatic control.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to homeostasis

    • Welcome to Week 1

      Welcome to Week 1. Join an introduction to this course and introduce yourself to your peers. Let's go!

    • Let's find out - what is homeostasis?

      Let's explore what homeostasis is, why it's important, what influences it and how our body controls it. Let's go!

    • Feedback systems

      We look at the feedback systems that our body uses to regulate itself.

    • Recap this week's learning

      Let's recap and consolidate your learning this week with a short review and a quiz on topics covered this week.

  • Week 2

    Endocrine system, blood pH, water and gas regulation

    • Welcome to Week 2

      Welcome to Week 2. Introducing this week's topics are the endocrine system, hypothalamus and the liver, the regulation and control of blood pH, water and gases. Let's go!

    • The endocrine system, hypothalamus and liver

      The endocrine system plays an important role in hormonal homeostatic control. Learn about the endocrine system, how it interacts with the hypothalamus and what the liver's role is in this activity.

    • Blood pH and gas regulation

      In this activity, we investigate blood pH and respiratory regulation.

    • Water regulation

      Water intake and output must be balanced for homeostasis. We look at the body's water needs and how it regulates water.

    • Recap this week's learning

      Recap and consolidate this week's learning with a review and then short quiz. Have a go!

  • Week 3

    Thermoregulation and calcium regulation

    • Welcome to Week 3

      Welcome to Week 3. This week's topics are two negative feedback systems: thermoregulation and calcium regulation. Let's go!

    • Thermoregulation - body temperature

      Maintenance of a constant internal body temperature is vital for the body’s biological processes. Learn about how thermoregulation works in this activity.

    • Calcium regulation

      Deviations in blood calcium concentrations can lead to serious disease. Learn about calcium regulation in this activity.

    • Recap this week's learning

      Recap and consolidate this week's learning with a review and a short quiz. Have a go!

  • Week 4

    Blood glucose regulation and diabetes

    • Welcome to Week 4

      Welcome to Week 4. In this, our last week, we look at the negative feedback system called blood glucose regulation. We also investigate diabetes and recap key course concepts to conclude the course.

    • Blood glucose regulation

      Maintaining a certain level of blood glucose is a matter of life and death. Explore this negative feedback system, and what happens when things aren't working, in this activity.

    • Diabetes

      Diabetes is a serious disease that occurs when the body is unable to regulate blood glucose. Learn more about diabetes in this activity.

    • Recap this week's learning

      Recap and consolidate your learning with a review and a weekly quiz. Let's go!

    • Thank you!

      Well done - you've reached the end. We hope you've learnt a few interesting things on the way. Finally, we will recap on the your new learning. Let's go.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain what homeostasis is and its importance to life
  • Identify what factors influence homeostasis
  • Explain negative and positive feedback
  • Identify examples of homeostasis

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for those considering a career or further study in health sciences, as well as those already studying who want to further their understanding of homeostasis.

It is also suitable for anyone with a general interest in learning to maintain homeostasis or understanding the body’s processes in more detail.

Who will you learn with?

Kia ora
I am Andrea Shaw and I'm passionate about Biology. I teach Anatomy and Physiology with a focus on revision techniques at Whitireia and WelTec in New Zealand. I look forward to working with you.

Who developed the course?

Whitireia New Zealand

Established in 1986, Whitireia is a wholly-owned Crown entity subsidiary company of Te Pūkenga, known for its high student success rates and culturally diverse student body.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Learn best practices from experts
  • Learn from the experience of other health professionals
  • Fit learning around your schedule with unlimited access
  • Get evidence of learning outcomes and CPD hours
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

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  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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