Background: Epidemiological evidences regarding the association between physical activity and the risk of lung cancer are still controversial.Objectives: We aimed to investigate the relationship between physical activity and risk of lung cancer in men and women, as well as other high-risk populations such as cigarette smokers.Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis of cohort studies to evaluate the association between physical activity and risk of lung cancer. Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed and Web of Knowledge through August 2018. Study-specific relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were pooled using random effect model when significant heterogeneity was detected.Results:Twenty cohort studies with a total of 2,965,811 participants and 31,807 lung cancer cases were included. There was an inverse association between the physical activity and risk of lung cancer. Compared with the low level of physical activity, the pooled RR was 0.83 (95%CI: 0.77, 0.90), with significant heterogeneity (I2 = 62.6%, Pheterogeneity < 0.001). The corresponding pooled RRs were 0.90 (95%CI: 0.82, 0.99) for women and 0.81 (95%CI: 0.73, 0.90) for men. Smokers with a high level of physical activity were associated with a 10% lower risk for lung cancer (RR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.84, 0.97), while the association was not significant among non-smokers (RR = 0.95, 95% CI: 0.88, 1.03). Subgroups analysis stratified by whether the studies adjusted for smoking intensity and durations yielded the same magnitude of RR. However, the RR for subgroups without adjustment for dietary factors was 0.74 (95%CI: 0.71, 0.77), which was significantly lower than that with dietary factors adjusted (RR = 0.89, 95%CI: 0.84, 0.95).Conclusions:Increased physical activity might be associated with lower risk of lung cancer. Such inverse association was identified among smokers rather than non-smokers. Large interventional studies are expected to further verify these findings.