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Experts in the UK have found that spending time in an allottment just once a week can produce significant benefits, helping to increase a person's self-esteem, ease depression, and calm anger. 
In a collaborative effort, researchers from Essex and Westminster universities interviewed 269 people, in which half of them were gardeners. The respondents who were familiar with gardening were asked about how they feel before and after working in an allotment. 
The study, published in Oxford's the Journal of Public Health, found that respondents who spent as little as 30 minutes a week in an allotment experienced significant boost in their mental well-being. 
Compared to those who didn't practice allotment gardening, allotment gardeners were found to have fewer problems regarding weight as their body mass index (BMI) were significantly lower. These gardeners also had lower levels of tension, depression, fatigue and anger, researchers noted. 
No matter how much time was spent in tending the garden, the results were still not altered. 
Allotment gardening might play an important role in promoting mental well-being in people residing in urban areas," explained Dr. Carly Wood, co-author of the case study. 
Wood said that the practice of allotment gardening is beneficial because it could contribute to a healthier and greener economy that is dedicated to the prevention of illnesses. She said that the approach can lead to lower costs and savings to the economy, especially in the aspect of treating conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, mental illness and loneliness. 
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