Wearable sensor technology has enabled unobtrusive monitoring of arm movements of stroke survivors in the home environment. However, the most widely established method, based on activity counts, provides quantitative rather than qualitative information on arm without functional insights, and is sensitive to passive arm movements during ambulatory activities. We propose a method to quantify functionally relevant arm use in stroke survivors relying on a single wrist-worn inertial measurement unit. Orientation of the forearm during movements is measured in order identify gross arm movements. The method is validated in 10 subacute/chronic stroke survivors wearing inertial sensors at 5 anatomical locations for 48 h. Measurements are compared to conventional activity counts and to a test for gross manual dexterity. Duration of gross arm movements of the paretic arm correlated significantly better with the Box and Block Test ([Formula: see text]) than conventional activity counts when walking phases were included ([Formula: see text]), and similar results were found when comparing ratios of paretic and non-paretic arms for gross movements and activity counts. The proposed gross arm movement metric is robust against passive arm movements during ambulatory activities and requires only a single-sensor module placed at the paretic wrist for the assessment of functionally relevant arm use.