The need for sustainable development has been widely recognized and sustainable development has become a hot topic of various disciplines even though the role of ergonomics in it is seldom reported or considered. This study conducts a systematic survey of research publications in the fields of ergonomics and sustainable development over the past two decades (1992-2011), in order to identify their research trends and convergent areas where ergonomics can play an important role in sustainable development. The results show that 'methods and techniques', 'human characteristics', 'work design and organization', 'health and safety' and 'workplace and equipment design' are the top five frequently researched areas in ergonomics. Ergonomics has an opportunity to contribute its knowledge especially to 'industrial and product design', 'architecture', 'health and safety' and 'NCI' (especially for energy reduction issues) categories of sustainable development. Typical methodologies and general guidance on how to contribute the expertise of ergonomist to sustainable development are also discussed.