Patients with liver disease are often incorrectly restricted in their physical activity. Several studies have shown that physical activity is not detrimental to acute viral hepatitis but it is customary to advise rest in the initial phase of nausea, abdominal pain and fatigue. As soon as these symptoms decline the patient can take part in physical activity. As regards chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis there are divergent views. No restrictions are placed upon patients with chronic active hepatitis in remission. This is also true for the early stage of cirrhosis, while muscle atrophy in more prolonged cases will set a natural limit to the patient's performance. The effect of physical activity on patients with a porto-caval shunt has not been studied. In well trained sportsmen there is no evidence that physical activity within the limits of human performance has an unfavourable effect on liver function.