This Letter proposes a stochastic model of the wearable sensor nodes of a wireless body area network (WBAN) based on Markov decision process (MDP). The proposed technique tackles the problem of maximising the likelihood of data transmission while minimising the computational cost and energy. Suitable transmission strategies subject to the energy level of the nodes and channel conditions are needed to be investigated to strike a balance between network lifetime and packet delivery ratio. MDP formulation of the problem is solved offline to find out the optimal transmission strategies for the representative input conditions. The results of this offline computation approach can directly map to optimal transmission policies for intra-WBAN communications. The experimental results demonstrate the robustness of the proposed scheme in handling both favourable and unfavourable operating conditions.