Our findings contrast directly with reports highlighting the increase in prevalence of degenerative musculoskeletal features in general, and the magnitude of enthesophytes in particular, in aging populations.
Our results suggest that the younger age group in our study have experienced postural loads that are atypical throughout the other tested age groups.
Robust and pronounced cranial features such as cranial thickness, supraorbital torus, a sagittal keel and occipital torus are the hallmarks of early hominin skulls, characteristics that are discussed extensively in the anthropological literature in association with early hominin evolution.
With evolutionary changes, such as perfection of bipedalism, cranial balance and equilibrium, and a reduction in the need for powerful mastication has resulted in reduced stress exerted on the skull by muscle tendons and ligaments.
Repetitive and sustained mechanical load is required for robust adaptation to take place in tendon properties, as connective tissue adaptive response to load necessitates a slow process of matrix protein (collagen) production, and the associated poor posture.
Musculoskeletal disorders related to poor posture while using computers and tablets have been investigated extensively and were identified as a risk factor for the development of related symptoms at the neck, shoulders and forearms.
Alarmingly, a survey of university staff and students revealed that participants spend an average of 4.65 hours/day using a hand held mobile device, and that 68% of the participating students reported neck pain.
Obviously, postures that involve sustain forward head flexion or translation will provide similar mechanical stress to those experienced during mobile and hand-held device use.