Existing studies reveal that high levels of sedentary behavior are associated with more inattention and hyperactivity problems. Since most previous studies used screen time as an indicator of sedentary behavior and assessed symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by short screening measures which do not allow to distinguish between subtypes of ADHD, the current study aimed to investigate association between different types of sedentary behavior and symptoms and subtypes of ADHD. The current cross-sectional study analyzed data of 913 students (46.1% girls) aged 13-17 years (M = 15.0, SD = 0.6). Using a self-administered questionnaire, screen-based and non-screen-based sedentary behavior and ADHD symptoms were assessed. Linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted. All analyses were adjusted for age, gender, moderate to vigorous physical activity and body mass index. Screen time was related to the total ADHD score (p < 0.001) as well as to the subscales inattention (p ≤ 0.016) and hyperactivity/impulsivity (p ≤ 0.008). Sedentary time without screens was virtually not associated with ADHD. As far as ADHD symptoms are considered as a correlate of sedentary behavior, the type of activity which is pursued sedentarily seems to matter: screen time, but not other non-screen-based sedentary activities should be considered as being a risk factor for ADHD.
Keywords: ADHD; Adolescents; Screen time; Sedentary behavior.