The bike world made this word popular. Most days if you go out and watch pedalers, you’ll see a bunch of them pushing hard down on each pedal their bodies swaying from one side to the other as the arduously mash each pedal. It looks like effort and it is, they get tired fast.
Likewise in paddling we can see this same issue, big slow arduous strokes with the body behind twisting and writhing to make it work. This would be paddling with a SLOW cadence.
Conversely, some people both on bike and in boats use gears and paddles that allow for a much faster turnover of foot or stroke. I think of this contrast much like two strokes worth ten each make 20, much the same as five strokes worth four each make 20. Quicker, easier strokes are much easier on the joints involved relative to big strong strokes.
Whether in bikes or boats, keeping things simple and quick makes you feel one way, while straining and grinding will make you feel another. Go for the quick and easy cadence, whether on bike or boat. Your major joints will thank you for it!