London: If you have known colors only for their aesthetic attributes, a study finding says much more.

Seeing red enhances people's physical ability by boosting strength and speed, according to the study.

In their study, researchers found that when humans are shown red colour, their reactions become faster and more forceful, a journal reported.

They say that the findings may have applications for sports in which a brief burst of strength and speed is needed, such as weightlifting.

The study's co-author Andrew Elliot, a psychologist at Rochester University in New York, was quoted as saying, "Red enhances our physical reactions because it is seen as a danger cue."

However, previous research showed that exposure to red could be detrimental. Athletes competing against an opponent wearing red are more likely to lose and students shown the colour before a test perform less well.