For the first time in the open literature we present a full characterization of the performance of receiver diversity for the on-body channels found in body area networks. The study involved three commonly encountered diversity combining schemes: selection combination (SC), maximal ratio combining (MRC) and equal gain combining (EGC). Measurements were conducted for both stationary and mobile user scenarios in an anechoic chamber and open office area environment. Achievable diversity gain for various on-body dual branch diversity receivers, consisting of horizontal and vertical spatially separated antennas, was found to be dependent upon transmitter-receive array separation, user state and level of multipath contribution from the local environment. The maximum diversity gain (6.4 dB) was observed for a horizontal two branch MRC combiner while the transmitter and receiver were on opposite sides of the body, and the user was mobile in the open office area. A novel statistical characterization of the fading experienced in on-body diversity channels is also performed using purposely derived first and second order diversity statistics for combiners operating in Nakagami fading.