The short answer is that, once connected, you do not have to do anything to get your app(s) to sync, and the "sync lag" is usually quite short, i.e. 1-5 minutes. However, if you don't see your data right away, don't panic!
First, make sure that your wearable device or watch (if you have one) is sync'ing successfully with its app on your phone.
Then, make sure your phone is connected to the Internet!
Please note: Once connected and syncing, the fastest way to get your device actively syncing again after any inactivity is to simply open the app connected to your device as this forces its servers to send your activity data to Count.It. You can also prompt a sync by clicking the "Sync" button on your Count.It Logs page. Users of the Count.It iOS app can simply open the app and:
click the 'person' icon on the bottom right corner
hit the sync wheel on your personal page to update your data (you can double check on your "LOGS" tab to confirm everything is up to date!)
hit the home icon to return to your Group Leaderboard and see where you stand!
Assuming your activity data is getting off your phone, see below for a rundown on how the different trackers connect, as well as the average/expected "sync lag" for each:
Fitbit, Strava, and Garmin: These services send Count.It any new data as soon as they receive it from your tracker app. The transit time from app to Count.It Logs page is typically short, as in less than a few minutes or so — though it can be longer during high traffic times. To prompt an immediate sync, simply click the Manual Sync button on your Logs page.
Count.It iOS App: The iOS app must be open on the user's phone, though it can be in the background. It attempts to send any new activity data to the Count.It servers every 10 minutes. In order for this transmission to work, the phone must be unlocked, and it must have Internet access. If it fails on any given try, it will simply try again 10 minutes later. To prompt an immediate sync, simply open the app and click the Manual Sync button.
Google Fit: We "poll" the Google Fit servers continually, but it takes roughly an hour for us to get through all of our Google Fit users. This means it can be as long as an hour between automatic, "background" user syncs. Still that's 24 syncs per day! To prompt an immediate sync, simply click the Manual Sync button on your Logs page.
Misfit, RunKeeper: We poll these services every three hours. To prompt an immediate sync, simply click the Manual Sync button on your Logs page.