BACKGROUND: Exercise and sitting-time may influence depressive symptoms. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between sitting-time, exercise, and depressive symptoms among middle-aged adults. DESIGN: Data from community-based physical examinations between 2013 and 2014 in northern Taiwan were used for this cross-sectional study. We collected demographic data and data on exercise behaviours, sitting-time, and depressive symptoms. RESULTS: A total of 655 participants completed this survey. Of these, 21.2% had depressive symptoms, 33.7% had regular exercise habits, and 24.1% reported a daily average sitting-time of more than 6 hours. Subjects who had regular exercise with lower sitting-time (odds ratio [OR] = 0.49), subjects who had regular exercise with higher sitting-time (OR = 0.55), and subjects who did not have regular exercise with lower sitting-time (OR = 0.34) had less prevalence of depressive symptoms compared to subjects without regular exercise and with higher sitting-time. CONCLUSIONS: Middle-aged adults must exercise regularly and reduce sitting-time to prevent depressive symptoms.