Is your kid having a hard time concentrating on her homework? It might be time to repaint her room, according to a new study out of Australia. Science Network WA reports researchers found that brightly colored rooms—specifically ones that are red or yellow—help students study better. “The vivid color conditions may increase arousal to optimal levels,” study author Aseel Al-Ayash says. Researchers put participants into six differently colored rooms, had them read a passage, then asked them questions about it.
The subjects in the bright red and yellow rooms got significantly more correct answers. This despite two-thirds of them thinking red would be a bad color for a study room. They believed pale rooms would be better for concentration because they were calmer. "However, the calmness and relaxation aspects may not help students to be alert and active," Al-Ayash says. Instead, the brighter rooms "stimulated neural activity." The study could have an impact on the way schools and universities paint their facilities. But if you may want to keep red out of the kitchen if you're trying to lose weight: WebMD notes it may have a stimulating effect on appetite. (Another study found concentrating makes you go deaf.)