In studies on work it is important to assess various subjective symptoms, complaints, and annoyances. To measure such symptoms, psychophysical ratio scales may be used, as along with simpler category rating scales. In this paper some of the basic concepts and methods of psychophysics have been described. In the field of heavy physical work and the perception of effort and exertion, one of the most popular methods is the rating of perceived exertion. This scale has been presented together with a new category ratio scale, commonly referred to as the CR-10 scale. Some situations in which it is important to obtain measurements of perceived exertion have also been described in the paper.