To understand the relationship between leisure and health, one has to consider first the meaning of these two constructs. Health is a general concept that refers to the absence of illness, but it also covers the more positive aspects: physical, mental and social well-being. Similarly, leisure is a global construct that refers to the state of being, rather than time, money or activity. Thus, seeing somebody in a presumably pleasant leisure context (e.g. restaurant) does not mean that a person is having leisure or engaging in a leisure activity. As Csikszentmihalyi and Graef (1979) reported, when wives had to go to restaurants to please their husband’s boss, they felt more irritated there than in their everyday work. For leisure to exist, one has to be in control of one’s behaviours and have a sense of freedom to pursue willingly a given activity. Thus, perceived freedom and intrinsic motivation are the most important defining characteristics of leisure (Iso-Ahola, 1980).