During a recent speaking gig, whilst talking about anthropology and the evidence that suggests that we (Homo sapiens sapiens) have evolved to run, a question popped into my head. In order to understand, and hopefully answer the question, you first need to understand the backstory.
Homo sapiens (humans) exhibit a number of features that differ from other hominidae (great apes) and are useful in the understanding of the progressive evolution from great ape to modern man. Features such as shorter upper body limbs, and decreased upward ankle movement show the progression of hominids to spending less time in the tree canopy and more time moving across the ground. Many of the features that Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) exhibit suggest that we have evolved to move swiftly across ground. I would go one step further and suggest that we have evolved to run, and you are welcome to disagree.
So, with the above in mind, the question that popped into my head was whether over time, as a result of running, the external occipital protuberance becomes more pronounced in a runner due to the loading of the EOP by the nuchal ligament? If the answer is yes, it would likely require years of running to start to see a change.
Using a small sample size, anecdotal evidence, and tongue-in-cheek, I would love to know whether amongst your friends and family you can see any trend in how pronounced the EOP is in runners versus non-runners?