The physical status of 137 chronic dialysis patients was assessed by both objective and subjective measures; education and employment statuses were also determined. Below normal grip strength characterized the majority of patients; slowed nerve conduction and subjective fatigue were also observed among a subset of patients. However, patients demonstrated good to normal muscle strength and relatively normal pinch strength, and activities of daily living presented no problems for the large majority of patients. Employment probability was directly related to educational status. Despite dialysis requirements and other employment disincentives, 42% of non-diabetic men aged 21-59 were employed.